Hotham road open.

From the Hotham website:

Great Alpine Road recovery works progressing well – please read below this press release to see access times on the Great Alpine Road

VicRoads opened the Great Alpine Road to the local media today to give an insight into the recovery works necessary to open the road to the public.

VicRoads Regional Director Graham Freestone said this was an opportunity to look behind the scenes and get a firsthand idea of the scope of works and how VicRoads is addressing the challenges.

“It is great to see the efforts our own crews and contractors have put in to make the road safe and accessible for the Labour Day long weekend and beyond.”

“There is still a lot more work to be done, but we are progressing well and the long weekend will be a deserved break for the crews who have been working six and seven days a week.”

The group viewed the slip sites and got a lesson on how to construct gabion baskets to stabilise loose materials below a slip site.

Gabion baskets are metal cages filled with rocks and placed below a slip site and built up to provide support for the side of the mountain. This enables VicRoads to reinstate the verge of the road on a sound foundation.

“Our crews are continuing to clear dead and burnt trees from the slopes above the road to reduce the risk of them falling onto the road causing another blockage.”

“We have two ground tree lopper teams clearing trees by hand close to the road. The teams can manage 200 trees a day, which is quite impressive.”

“Further up slope we use a harvester, excavator and bulldozer to push the trees over and lay them on the ground to provide habitat for local flora and fauna but also the prevent ground material to slip onto the road. The tree stumps also assist in holding back loose material which could otherwise fall onto the road.”

“Since starting work on Monday 4 March we have felled in excess of 4,000 dead and burnt trees at risk of falling onto the road.”

“We appreciate the need for local business operators to access the road and have the Easter break firmly in our sight to enable visitors and locals unrestricted access for that important holiday time.”

“The alpine region is one of the most diverse and interesting in Victoria and we acknowledge the vital role the road plays for tourism in the area. All our efforts are focused on getting the road ready for these important periods and of course the upcoming snow season.”

“We appreciate the cooperation and the patience we have received from residents, local stakeholders, the Alpine Shire Council and businesses so far.”

Information about road closures can be found on the VicRoads website at: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.

VicRoads Media Release5 March 2013

VicRoads is opening the Great Alpine Road after clearing the initial slip sites for the Labour Day long weekend. Restricted access times will apply for several weeks while further slip repair and tree clearing works progress.

Access times are as follows:
Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March Open 7am – 9am and 4.30pm – 6.30pm for permit holders only (residents and business owners)

Friday 8 MarchOpen 7am – 9am and 2pm – 7pm for general access including light vehicles under 23 tonnes and 8 metres length

Saturday 9 March – Monday 11 March
Open 7am – 7pm for general access including light vehicles under 23 tonnes and 8 metres length

Tuesday 12 March – ongoingOpen 7am – 9am and 4.30 pm – 6.30pm for general access including light vehicles under 23 tonnes and 8 metres length

Due to the expected number of visitors using the road VicRoads will interrupt recovery works for the long weekend period. However past the slip sites the road will be closed to one lane only under a traffic signal arrangement. Drivers should expect delays.

After the weekend work on the three slip sites will commence as will tree clearing works up slope of the road. For safety reasons the road could be closed temporarily during the tree clearing process while trees are being felled.

Alternative access to Omeo from the North East is available via Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains Road.

Information about road closures can be found on the VicRoads website at: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.

Great Alpine Road - Hotham - Road Works

Great Alpine Road - Hotham - Road Works

Great Alpine Road - Hotham - Tree Clearing