Road halt

Road halt

Frustration is growing over the regular interruptions to traffic on the Great Alpine Road between Bruthen and Ensay as work continues to stabilise the steep cliff face from landslides. 
Last week the road was closed for several hours at Tambo Crossing after a landslip sent rocks and earth spilling onto the road overnight on Monday.
It was about 5am when the alarm was raised and about three hours before the debris could be removed from part of the road to allow traffic to pass through one lane.
On Wednesday, the road was again cut to traffic, around lunchtime and into the early afternoon, after geotechnical experts from the Department of Transport decided to carry out controlled works to clear loose material on the cliff face.
The road was blocked to traffic for about an hour as workmen, with heavy machinery, scooped debris off the road and deposited it to one side of the Great Alpine Road.
Local resident, Warren Pederson, who had passed through Tambo Crossing on the way to Bruthen on Wednesday morning, told the Advertiser he had noticed the cliff face starting to slip.
By the time he returned in the early afternoon, the road was closed with mountains of earth and rocks covering the bitumen.
“This is about the third or fourth time it’s happened in 12 months,” Mr Pederson said.
Other motorists, who had stepped out of their vehicles to watch the rocks being cleared, told the Advertiser it was “annoying” the landslips were becoming more frequent and stopping traffic from passing through.
“It’s holding people up from going about their business,” one disgruntled Swifts Creek resident said.
“People trying to get to work are being held up,” he said.
The Department of Transport director for Gippsland, Sara Rhodes-Ward, confirmed to the Advertiser that “the Great Alpine Road is still operating under traffic management between Bruthen and Ensay”.
“While the site is now clear following last week’s landslip, the decision has been made to keep one lane closed to ensure the safety of drivers,” Ms Rhodes-Ward said.
“The road will fully reopen when it is safe to do so, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
“We will continue to monitor the site and are taking additional measures under the guidance of geotechnical experts to ensure safety on the road.”
The Advertiser has been told that geotechnical experts spent last week assessing the site and will now review their final designs for long-term stabilisation and prevention works.
Landslip prevention works are already underway on this particular section of the Great Alpine Road and will continue in the coming months.

IMAGE: Landslip prevention works remain ongoing on the Great Alpine Road between Bruthen and Ensay with traffic down to one lane at Tambo Crossing. K150-775


Print