Strathbogie Shire Regional Victoria West Gate Tunnel Project Longwood

Superload hits Longwood locals

20 August 2020

Concrete produced for the West Gate Tunnel Project in Benalla is unable to be transported from Benalla to Melbourne on the Hume Freeway due to weight restrictions on Pranjip Bridge.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the Longwood community is bearing the brunt of a lack of logistics and infrastructure planning for the West Gate Tunnel Project.

“We were told the concrete plant in Benalla would transport product via rail,” said Ms Ryan.

“This has not eventuated and now we know the historic Pranjip Bridge is unable to carry the weight of the product.

“If the Hume Highway is unable to bear the weight of five, 160 tonne plus superloads a week, the roads in the small town of Longwood are going to struggle as well,” said Ms Ryan.

The Longwood community will see a reported 30 vehicles accompany each superload, five times a week for the next two years.  

“The government arrogantly expects Strathbogie ratepayers to foot the bill for the damage this is going to do to local roads,” Ms Ryan said. 

“The Andrews Government must upgrade the Pranjip Bridge to facilitate the movement of material for the West Gate Tunnel Project or, at the absolute minimum, fund the upgrade and upkeep of the local roads that will be carrying this enormous burden for a city project. 

“The government’s failure to consult with locals is arrogant in the extreme. 

“If the community hadn’t acted and spoken up when they noticed trees being lopped along the road, they would have had trucks on their roads as early as this week.

“I support the Strathbogie Shire Council and the Longwood Action Group in their action to hold the government to account for the infrastructure costs and the costs to their community that will be sustained because of the West Gate Tunnel Project.”

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