AFTER 17 RECORDED vehicle crashes in four years, Manningham Council began the process for a major upgrade to Jumping Creek Road in July 2016.
At an estimated cost of $17.9M and a construction period of six years, works are scheduled to begin in 2018, after the next fire danger period has ended and assuming the necessary permits have been issued.
An important link road between Warrandyte and the Yarra Valley, the road also gives access to the only river crossing with 10 kilometres for Wonga Park and the surrounding area.
Manningham Council estimates Jumping Creek Road currently carries more than 8000 vehicles per day, a number which is expected to of doubled by 2035.
Taking into account the number of accidents on this important artery, Manningham believe the road, which is already failing to keep drivers safe will be unable to accommodate a major increase in traffic without an upgrade.
The works will include roadway realignment, roundabouts, emergency vehicle stopping bays and a shared pedestrian/cycling path which will run the entire length of Jumping Creek Road between Wonga Park and Warrandyte.
This last adjustment will deliver greater accessibility to the Wonga Park community as well as improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
As part of the development process, Manningham Council have formed the Jumping Creek Road Community Reference Panel, a panel which consists of residents, businesses and community groups which are directly affected by Jumping Creek Road.
Mr Leigh Harrison, Director of Assets and Engineering for Manningham Council spoke to the Diary, explaining the role the panel will play in the forthcoming upgrade.
“The Jumping Creek Road Community Reference Panel will provide an important and long term opportunity for the community to highlight issues, queries and provide feedback on proposals to upgrade Jumping Creek Road.
“[The panel] will also help guide the materials and finishes, path widths, replanting opportunities, fauna crossings, street lighting, pedestrian crossing locations, non-regulatory signage, roadside aesthetics, emergency stopping bay locations, the Dudley Road/Yarra Road/Jumping Creek Road intersection surface treatment and the extent and nature of equestrian treatments,” he said.
Residents will get the opportunity to express their thoughts on the road upgrade via the Community Reference Panel, as well as via the Manningham “Your Say” page.
However, one major concern will be traffic congestion.
The Diary asked Mr Harrison what steps have been taken to minimise further congestion to an already heavily congested area.
“The key objectives of this project are to improve safety for all users, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, and to accommodate the forecasted increase in traffic volumes — which is expected to double to 15,000 vehicles per day by 2035.
“During our consultation process, concerns were raised about traffic congestion at the Jumping Creek Road and Homestead Road intersection — located on the municipal boundary between the Shire of Yarra Ranges and the City of Manningham.
“Council is working with the Shire of Yarra Ranges to address resident concerns regarding this intersection.
“Some traffic disruption during works of this scale is unavoidable,” he said.