A network of over 7500 km of roads is within the area burnt by the 2019/20 bushfires. The damage was extensive both in terms of what was blocked and closed with fallen and dangerous trees and what was burnt – bridges, signs and guideposts. Disruption was also caused to culverts and road drainage, and this along with exposed bare roadsides has led to washouts and slippages following rain events over the winter period.
On public land alone over 80 bridges and crossings were impacted with extensive damage. Over 30 bridges have been inspected and either entirely burnt or damaged to such a degree they must be replaced. The replacement program is underway, and all wooden structures will be replaced with more fireproof concrete structures making the network more resilient to future fires.
Both during the fire response and in reopening roads a lot of burnt and dangerous trees had to be fallen to make the roads safe for use. This has left considerable debris on roadsides. Works will be undertaken to salvage timber from this and also to make some available for firewood.
What is happening to repair roads?
In 2020/2021 the Department has plans to replace eight bridges. Over the next 12 months planning and tendering will occur to allow the replacement of a further 30 destroyed bridges in the 21/22 financial year.
Who is involved?
These roads are managed by a range of authorities including DELWP, Regional Roads and East Gippsland Shire. All three have major roading programs underway to reopen the roads and to repair damage to road surfaces. Roading infrastructure such as signs, guideposts must also be replaced across the network
Feature: replacing the Buchan bridges
During the fires both timber bridges into the Buchan Caves were destroyed, the army helped establish some temporary structures to allow the caves to reopen however work has been happening to replace these with permanent structures. Last month this important milestone was achieved and the bridges opened.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions or information you want to share about our roads and bridges please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition you can find up to date information on road closures by visiting VicTraffic