THE Latrobe River Bridge saga has taken another turn with the state government revealing “rectification treatment” is required on the new bridge which was opened just five months ago.

It comes after Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, wrote to the Minister for Roads, Melissa Horne, asking when the installation of permanent barriers would be complete, noting workers had not been on site for some two months.

Installation of the permanent barriers and removal of temporary 40 km/h speed limit signs were meant to be completed by February, however Minister Horne confirmed that “rectification is required” on the bridge kerb and works won’t be completed until June, “weather permitting”.

“Instead of being upfront from the beginning about why completion of the bridge was delayed, the state government went missing for months while people repeatedly asked why there was no action on site,” Mr Cameron said.

“Residents had raised concerns with my office about the integrity of the bridge, with many reporting cracks along the road and kerb.

“I shared these reports with the Minister while requesting an explanation about why works had stalled, and they’ve been proven valid.

“It’s concerning that the new bridge has been open for just five months and is already requiring rectification works.

“We already know the state government refused to raise the causeway during construction of the bridge because it was too expensive, so I hope these fixes aren’t needed because cost-cutting took priority over structural integrity.

“The Latrobe Valley has had a gutful of being short-changed and misled, and we deserve better.

“A regional Victorian community shouldn’t have to scream and shout for decades for this government to take notice and deliver a piece of critical infrastructure.”

Minister Horne advises: “The current 40 km/h speed limit with temporary barriers will remain in place over the bridge while this work is completed to ensure the safety of all road users and workers. The speed limit will return to 80 km/h once the ultimate bridge barrier installation is completed, anticipated in June 2024.”