Crack cause still unknown

LATROBE Road is expected to reopen in a matter of days, not months as first expected, with VicRoads beginning maintenance work yesterday afternoon.

A large crack, which appeared on Sunday, runs from one side of the road to the other in a section of Latrobe Road between Hancock Victoria Plantations and the Yallourn mine.

The discovery of the crack forced the closure of Latrobe Road between Old Melbourne Road and Tanjil East Road.

Morwell police Inspector Mark Langhorn said VicRoads began repairing the road and surrounding land yesterday afternoon, but road closures would remain in place.

Inspector Langhorn said advice from VicRoads was that it would be at least a few days before the road was reopened to traffic, but it depended on how long repairs would take and ongoing testing.

“Experts and contractors will be testing the whole time. There has been no further deterioration to the road,” Insp Langhorn said.

Geotechnical experts began assessing the crack on Tuesday and will continue to investigate the cause of the damage.

“The geotechnical reports haven’t come back in regards to any causation of it,” Insp Langhorn said.

“We’re still waiting for an update on why it might have occurred.”

Incident controller, Inspector Dean Thomas said in the interim, HVP had carried out additional drainage work and crews yesterday placed materials in the cracks to prevent further water damage to the area.

Insp Thomas said once technical investigations into the extent of the damage were complete, plans for repair works would start.

“All stakeholders are working towards the road being reopened to the community as soon as practical,” Insp Thomas said.

VicRoads believes about 1700 vehicles use the road daily, 20 per cent of which are trucks.

Insp Langhorn said the road closure had inconvenienced the community, but alternate routes were available.

He said road users were currently being diverted down Derhams Lane and signage was in place to slow down traffic.

“We plan to keep updating the community as we know more,” Insp Langhorn said.