Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road has reopened to traffic following months of hard work to rebuild sections of road damaged by major landslips in the unprecedented June 2021 storms.
Significant landslips occurred at 12 locations along Mt Baw Baw Road, forcing its closure for about 45 kilometres from Willow Grove Road to the South Face Road intersection.
The extreme weather event caused large sections of the road to fall away, and in addition, many drains were blocked by fallen trees and other vegetation.
Geotechnical engineers used specialist equipment to stabilise the hillsides and future-proof against further slippage as part of the recovery.
More than 20,000 tonnes of rock were imported to the landslip sites and placed by crews to strengthen the roadway and rebuild the impacted locations.
High altitudes and the narrow roads added to the challenging task as crews worked tirelessly to clear debris and restore access over the cold and wet winter conditions.
“We thank the local community for their patience and the hard work of all involved in this complex project to reopen Mt Baw Baw Road to locals and tourists ahead of the summer holidays,” Roads and Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll said.
“Not only have we repaired the road – we’ve made a range of improvements that will make journeys into the high country safer and more reliable for all drivers into the future.”
The repairs and improvements to Mt Baw Baw Road will support the local economy, promoting increased tourism by improving access to the area with safer and more reliable journeys.
“The reopening of Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road has required crews to work hundreds of hours to clear and remove fallen trees, debris, and hazards,” Labor Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said.
“These further improvements to the road and surrounds will enhance safety, improve access to market for a range of industries and help Gippsland’s economy to rebound as we continue our pandemic recovery efforts.”
Works to repair the retaining wall at the final landslip site will progress under traffic
All works are anticipated to be completed and the road fully restored in early 2022.
Upgrades to the affected sections included drainage and earthworks, major excavation, asphalt resurfacing, installing guardrails, road strengthening, line-marking, and installing new guideposts and signs.
The June storms impacted more than 2000 kilometres of Gippsland’s arterial road network, with more than 180 roads closed across the region’s arterial and local road network as a result.