Works are underway to seal the first roads in the federal government funded 10 year roads program, with sealing works on Rue De Gare and Prospect Roads in Wandin North to be completed in coming months.
Earlier this year, the federal government pledged $150 million each to Yarra Ranges and Cardinia Council to seal roads in and around the Dandenong Ranges over the next 10 years.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, said he was excited to see the first works begin on the road program.
“I’m proud to say that works are underway on the first road to be sealed under this federal government-funded program, here in Wandin North,” Cr Stevenson said.
“This road is particularly significant, because council had begun the Special Charge Scheme process earlier in the year, while we were still putting together our priority list.
“This road aligned well with that in timing and need, and the federal government subsidy on the construction means residents will be saving a significant amount on these works.
“Landowner contributions are an important part of this road program – with the federal government funding and contributions from our community members, we’ll be able to seal an estimated 186 kilometres of roads between now and the 2027-28 financial year.”
Due to the significant cost of constructing sealed roads and a lack of funding available to deliver the works, Special Charge Schemes in the past have required landowner contributions of up to $15,500 per standard residential property for road sealing, paid back by landowners over a number of years.
In September, council passed a motion to cap landowner contributions at $7000 per development unit for the life of the program, using the federal government funding to subsidise the remaining cost of the works.
Cr Stevenson said that unsealed roads included in the priority list were selected through a number of factors, such as sharing a boundary with schools, preschools and community facilities; whether the roads are in an urban or township areas and the number of residents and road users who will benefit from the works.
“Design is well underway for sealing roads abutting schools, preschools and community facilities, and we hope to get construction underway on several of these projects in the new year,” he said.
“Those sections of unsealed roads that share a boundary with schools, preschools and community facilities will be sealed using only federal government funding, so we’re able to deliver sealed roads to these areas quickly while we get the ball rolling on the next projects.”
“Our teams will be contacting residents whose roads are scheduled for works in coming years, starting the consultation process so they can discuss with staff, share their feedback with us and let us know if they’d like their roads included.
“We know this is going to be a long project, and there will be disappointment from people whose roads aren’t on our priority list or who want their road to be sealed sooner, but we’ll be working hard to deliver these roads and we know the community will benefit in the long-run, whether you live on these roads or travel through them.”
Casey MP, Tony Smith said he was glad the federal funding would subsidise the cost of road sealing for residents, such as those on Rue De Gare and Prospect Roads.
“It’s great to see the start of works on the first sealing of dirt roads project in Wandin North,” Mr Smith said.
“Sealing dirt roads ends the days of dust, potholes and mud for local residents.
“It’s encouraging to hear that council’s planning is also well advanced for sealing roads in priority locations near schools, kindergartens and community facilities.
“These will be fully paid for with federal government funding.”