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Princes Highway Upgrade

It's over!!!!

1 Dec 2017 Alert: Road completely restored no restrictions, no speed limits, no lights, all good!!!  Thank you Vic Roads, a hard job well done.

15 Dec 2016 Alert:  The Princes Highway before the LTB turn-off is fully operational,  with a small speed restriction until tidy up has finished. See you here!

16 Nov 2016:  The northern side of the road is now being used for traffic and being shared for one way traffic with traffic lights. The temporary road to the south we have been using will be demolished and the south side of the land bridge resurfaced to support that side of the road.  How soon that will be I don't know, however the road surface goes right up to the cutting for the new culverts and is intact.  So there is not a lot of road to resurface, though it will be interesting to see how long it takes to settle. 

History: The highway between Lakes Entrance and the Lake Tyers Beach turn off has been subsiding, and recently the decision to do something about it has set in motion a major road upgrade. If you haven't had the time (or the cheek)  to stop and take in what is happening here are some photos taken around September/October 2016 of what was happening then.

For a few centimetres dip in the asphalt, it is causing a lot of work.  However this road does carry a lot of traffic (it would seem more local traffic than they realised with 10-15minute queues at each end throughout the day just to get to and from Lake Tyers Beach).  It is now easy to get through to Nowa Nowa and Orbost along a small one way side road with traffic lights at either end.  Only a 5min wait maximum. People can still visit Lakes Entrance from Bairnsdale and without too  much trouble. Or come down to Lake Tyers Beach through Bruethen, to Nowa Nowa, it is worth it and we would love to see you!

I hope they allow the Wombats to also go under the road through the culverts as this section of the highway is known by locals as "Wombat Gully" as sadly many wombats are killed trying to cross the road at around that point.

The extent of the work can be seen here with a rather large crane lifting concrete in a bucket.  The huge culverts now look small in comparison.  Work will not be completed anytime soon, but most of it will now be the mundane work of pushing all the soil back into place and rebuilding the road again.

Crane in action on Princes Highway near Lake Tyers Beachs

The size of the job can be gathered from these photos. The culverts must be more than 2m in diameter! and I estimate about 8-10 of them in four parallel rows, making maybe 40 of these monsters being put in place. (18/10/2016).

Pipes under the Freeway, Lakes Entrance
Excavatiuons under Princes Highway, Lakes Entrance

These photos were taken while on the new section of bitumen covered bypass.

Work on Princes Highway near Lakes Entrance
The old corrugated steel culverts can be seen mangled up beside the digger.  These were giving away and had to be removed.
Work on Princes Highway near Lakes Entrance
These are the new concrete culverts and will provide many years of maintenance free drainage.
Work on Princes Highway near Lakes Entrance

As a consequence the local traffic between Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers Beach was for a short while redirected on a bypass along the Old Bunga Road.  So people turned off onto the old dirt road where the main turn off to Bunga is, and reappeared next to the Toorloo Arm Fire Station.  Now the road has a small temporary bypass, that is one way and controlled by traffic lights.

This is the earlier work completed after the Old Bunga Road bypass had been used for a while.  Apparently the workers on the lollipop signs counted more than ten thousand trips along that road after it was first opened as the bypass.  This is probably why Lake Tyers Beach Road gets cut up so easily, it does carry a lot of traffic.  What it must be like in holiday time must be much, much more!

Road works on Princes Highway near Lake Tyers Beach Road works on Princes Highway near Lake Tyers Beach
Road works on Princes Highway near Lake Tyers Beach Road works on Princes Highway near Lake Tyers Beach

To understand the diversion look on GOOGLE MAPS If you are considering bringing boats or caravans or any other larger combination of vehicles then you will need to exercise a little care and patience.  The small section of one way highway might cause you a few minutes hold up on, however a trip to Lake Tyers Beach is still quite worth it.