Shelley-Walwa Road is a 32 km arterial road which connects the tourism village of Walwa with the forest plantation district of Shelley in North East Victoria. Apart from being an important connector road, it is also a major logging transport route, connecting local plantations to mills in southern NSW.
Prior to the upgrade, Shelley-Walwa Road had been subject to regular road closures due to unsafe road conditions, particularly during winter.
Our Albury / Wodonga Surveying and Civil Engineering teams were commissioned by Regional Roads Victoria to complete surveying, civil design and project specification works for the upgrade of an 8.1 km section of the road which was previously unsealed.
Our surveying crews were challenged by the steep terrain, tightly twisting road alignment and the overall length of the subject site. The survey took in excess of two weeks to complete. We utilised a range of survey techniques including, Total Station, 3D Laser scanning and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone).
The civil design included road widening, installation of safety barriers, realignment of sections of the road to reduce the winding corners to improve sight distance, and road sealing, making it more suitable for heavy vehicle traffic. It also included more than 800 lineal metres of drainage culverts. Design changes included wide centre-line safety treatments that were added to the project, based on stakeholder input.
Construction for the road was undertaken over a 14 month period and the road was closed completely to public access during that period.
This project was jointly funded by Federal Government, Victorian State Government (Regional Roads), Towong Shire and private company HVP Plantations, a major user of this road. The capital cost of the upgrade was in excess of $7M.
Towong Shire Council Mayor David Wortmann said the federal government money came through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and HVP, who supported the upgrade because they have a large plantation in the area. “Because it’s a key connection to get the timber from our shire to Tumbarumba, that was part of why the federal money was contributed,” he said.
Mark Hallinan (Senior Supervisor Construction & Maintenance, Regional Roads) said that “The end result of this project is a safer drive for everyone from Guys Forest to the Murray Valley Highway”.
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