Radar ground surveys in Mulwala and changes to road alignments in the Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge Planning Study continue to keep state government road authorities on both sides of the Murray River busy resulting in a delay to the important Environmental Effects Statement referral.
NSW Roads and Maritime representatives were last week conducting ground surveys on areas around ClubMulwala and a private property where it is believed an aboriginal burial site may be situated. Local indigenous groups were invited to witness the survey works.
On the Victorian side community feedback received in 2017, alongside other technical information, has been used by VicRoads to prepare, and therefore has subsequently delayed the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) referral on the planning study to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
The information has caused adjustments to the planning footprint for the Murray Valley Highway Connection.
VicRoads Acting North East Regional Director, Steve McCallum said community feedback has been included into the planning study and this has opened up new opportunities to improve the Murray Valley Highway connection design.
“We originally planned to submit the EES to DELWP in October last year, but in order for us to incorporate the information we have received from the community, the EES will now be submitted in February 2018,” Mr McCallum said.
“The delay in the submission ensures that we have done our due diligence for an efficient approvals process and incorporated the needs of the community.”
The information gathered from community members and stakeholders in September 2017 has resulted in adjustments to the footprint of Stage 1 – Murray Valley Highway Connection alignment to include options for improved access to the west of the Yarrawonga channel and the Oaklands railway line.
The additional time taken to prepare the EES has allowed the ecology and heritage information to be updated to include the amended footprint.