Liberal anger over slow roadworks

By Alison Noonan
FRUSTRATED motorists have called on the State Government to complete promised safety improvements to Thompsons Road before another life is lost.
Michael Shepherdson, Liberal candidate for Narre Warren South, said he wanted answers as to why vital upgrades at the notorious Thompsons and Evans Road intersection were yet to be completed.
A fatality early last year prompted the State Government to announce that it would seal the shoulders of Thompsons Road between Evans Road and Westernport Highway and construct a roundabout at the intersection of Thompsons and Evans Road.
The works commenced in July and were expected to be ready by early December 2005.
However, Mr Shepherdson said the shoulders were yet to be fully sealed and construction of the roundabout still to commence.
“This is a seemingly easy job that should have well and truly been completed,” he said.
“It is not a big job at all. They have done the Clyde Road duplication faster.
“Does it really take over six months to seal a few kilometres of the shoulder of Thompsons Road and not even start on a roundabout?
“The State Government will spend $80 million on advertising but can’t seem to find the money to finish such important road safety improvements.”
Mr Shepherdson said the roadworks had caused huge traffic delays during the Christmas break and would only get worse when school resumed.
“It was not uncommon for traffic to be banked up for up to five kilometres because of the reduced speed limits and construction work.
“The impact was even worse for the tens of thousands of road users during the holiday period because of the delays that should have been completed over a month ago.
“With school starting back in a few weeks and the roundabout yet to commence, this causes even more frustration for those motorists who use this road,” he said.
“All that I ask is for the State Government to deliver a project on time and reduce the frustration that this delay on a simple project is causing.”
Narre Warren South MP Dale Wilson said wet weather was to blame for the delay on the sealing of the shoulders on Thompsons Road.
However, he said he was confident the works would be completed within the next month.
“The wet weather in October and November delayed the widening of the road. The State Government can’t control the weather,” Mr Wilson said.
“Completion of the roundabout has been hindered by land purchaser difficulties. Construction is expected to start in the next two to three months and will certainly be completed by the end of the year.
“Unfortunately, these delays have been beyond the control of members of Parliament.”