A $99.5 million rebuild and recovery package has been announced for the most damaged roads in the state, including those damaged by floods in Gippsland, but Victorian roads have long been in need of repair.

After a months-long wait, works are now underway to repair dangerous flood-damaged roads across the region as part of an emergency blitz funded by both the state and federal governments.

The announcement came on Wednesday, March 20, with the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Melissa Horne, stating the package would include large-scale and long-term repairs for the worst damaged roads.

Works are already underway on the South Gippsland Highway east of the Grassy Spur, where a section of the road between Falls Road and Carmichaels Road will be resurfaced and resealed to improve its durability, life span and safety for local residents, freight operators, and tourists.

Other roads set to undergo repairs across Gippsland include the Hyland Highway, Grand Ridge Road and Bengworden Road.

“Continuing Victoria’s road to recovery after these recent flood events is our number one priority, and we’ll deliver these large-scale repairs as quickly and safely as we can,” Minister Horne said.

Works to be delivered under the package include fully rebuilding some of the most badly-damaged sections of road, major asphalting, landslip stabilisation, repairs to damaged structures and road shoulders, clearing of roadside drains and culverts and replacing signs, safety barriers and other important roadside assets.

The state government said crews will also carry out additional roadside mowing and slashing to reduce the risk of bushfires posed by unseasonal accelerated growth.

Four separate floods have hit Victoria since Christmas, forcing the closure of more than 100 of the state’s arterial roads at their peak.

Since then, the state government has said additional resources have been deployed across the state to deliver short-term emergency repairs to get all of these roads re-opened.

The Member for Eastern Victoria, Tom McIntosh, said the state government was, “getting on with repairing our roads and ensuring freight, tourists and members of our local communities in Gippsland can continue travelling safely”.

The Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, has been calling on the state government to repair the major landslip on the Hyland Hwy since it occurred during the December 2023 to January 2024 storms.

The landslip issue has been on VicRoads radar since April 2023 but after heavy rains, the roads’ condition worsened.

The roads have caused many headaches for users, with the section between Yarram and Traralgon being reduced to one lane for a number of months.

Facebook users have voiced their frustration.

“If they leave it much longer they’ll be building a bridge,” one user posted.

Money has long been allocated toward the repair of the road, but it wasn’t until the Wednesday state announcement that confirmed the road repair.

Victoria’s road conditions have made headlines recently, with the release of the National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) survey, which found 91 per cent of Victorian roads had been classified as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. The Victorian government tried to conceal the NTRO surveys after a 45 per cent cut to the road maintenance budget since 2020, according to The Weekly Times.

As the Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Mr O’Brien said the survey simply confirmed what people already knew.

“To see that 91 per cent of our roads are in poor or very poor condition is an indictment of the government’s performance and that affects every Victorian travelling our roads every day,” he said.

The Herald Sun also recently reported that 490 regional roads are currently subject to speed limit reductions or warnings because of their poor driving condition.

“This data shows that the blip of an increase in roads maintenance spending during COVID has now been wiped out and our roads are even worse off now,” Mr O’Brien added.