By Oliver Lees
A Hume resident has called for additional safety infrastructure at the Bulla Bridge in order to accommodate a growing number of heavy vehicles that are using the narrow thoroughfare.
On Sunday and Monday, Department of Transport carried out night asphalting works on Bulla Road between Bulla Diggers Rest Road and Oaklands Road in a bid to improve safety.
In addition to the roadworks, VicRoads confirmed that the speed limit at the bridge would be permanently lowered to 40 km/h and that additional warning and safety signs were to be placed near the bridge.
However Hume resident Chris O’Neil said these measures did not go far enough to address the safety concerns held by some members of the community.
“They think they can just drop the speed limit and not actually address the safety concerns,” Mr O’Neil said.
“We’ve called on [the Department of Transport] to install barriers between the lanes and at the curve as you come down from the top of Bulla.
“As far as we’re aware, that’s not getting installed.”
Mr O’Neil said the safety concerns on Bulla Road are compounded by the fact that the road had been identified as a potential primary truck route for the West Gate Tunnel soil relocation project, which could see an additional 850 heavy vehicles using the bridge each day, travelling to and from the Hi-Quality processing facility.
In a letter sent to Transport Minister Jacinta Allan on October 18, former Hume mayor Joseph Haweil outlined Hume council’s concerns regarding the safety of the bridge in relation to the potential for an increase in heavy vehicle traffic flow.
Cr Haweil’s letter stated that recent data had found that the bridge was already exceeding its daily vehicle capacity, and that the bridge’s width was more than two metres short of the standard for an arterial road.
A Department of Transport spokesperson told Star Weekly that no further safety works were being considered for the road, but that the state government would continue to keep it under consideration.
A Hi-Quality spokesperson said that while their business was not responsible for managing the trucks or the transport for the West Gate Tunnel Project, Hi-Quality supported the speed limit alteration and “any change or upgrade that improves safety for all road users”.