More works for troubled road

Potholes reemerged on Baxter-Tooradin Road recently after rain. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS 252647_02

By Danielle Kutchel

Baxter-Tooradin Road continues to draw ire from locals who are furious at its condition despite an upgrade earlier this year.

Potholes have reappeared on the road’s surface and drivers have complained on Facebook that road safety barriers installed along parts of the road are difficult to see, especially at night.

Other drivers have complained about poor visibility at the intersection of Baxter-Tooradin Road and Warneet Road.

The level of the road has also been criticised, with drivers noting the road has varying surface heights and floods during heavy rains.

Hastings MP Neale Burgess said he echoed the sentiment of locals.

“The upgrades to the road do not seem to be good value for money and the road still feels very unsafe,” he said.

“The widenings in small sections do not feel sufficient and the safety barriers feeling intrusively close to the driver as you travel down the road.”

But the Department of Transport has confirmed it will be conducting further maintenance work between Western Port Highway, Pearcedale and the South Gippsland Highway, Devon Meadows to improve the surface.

A spokesperson for the Department said the road was regularly inspected “to identify any potential hazards to road users and carry out appropriate maintenance”.

Asphalt repairs are set to begin in November and, weather permitting, will be completed by the end of the year.

These repairs will be along the entire length of the road, including the recently-upgraded section.

While the flexible safety barriers – which were installed on the left side of the road and the centre median – already have reflectors, extra reflectors were added after the major upgrade to the centre median posts to make them more visible at night and in the fog.

And drivers hoping for a fix to the Baxter-Tooradin Road and Warneet Road intersection are likely to be disappointed, with the Department only considering additional or improved lighting on arterial roads when a section or intersection has 30 per cent or more crashes during the night compared to during the day.

For the five years ending 31 December 2020, there has been one reported crash at the Baxter-Tooradin Road and Warneet Road intersection during the night or in dark conditions.

The Department of Transport has undertaken a lighting review at this intersection and has not identified a night time crash problem and believes the current arrangement is consistent with lighting provisions.

The Department of Transport encouraged drivers to report hazards like potholes through the 24-hour Traffic Management Centre hotline (131 170).

If the hazard poses a safety risk to drivers, a response to this hazard will be arranged immediately.