Northern Highway Overtaking Lanes – Options Analysis

Regional Roads Victoria – Northern Highway Overtaking Lanes – Options Analysis

RMG was engaged by Regional Roads Victoria – Northern Region to develop an Option Analysis for Overtaking Lanes on the Northern Highway, between Elmore and Echuca.

The Northern Highway is used by freight and commercial vehicles providing intrastate and interstate access to markets, air and sea terminals in Melbourne and the rural primary production areas of the Murray Valley and southern New South Wales.

Important freight movements along this section of Northern Highway are:

  • Dairy products from Echuca and Rochester to ports for export and throughout Australia for domestic consumption;
  • Agricultural machinery to ports for export and distribution throughout south eastern Australia;
  • Processed tomatoes and grain to ports for export, and throughout Australia for domestic markets;
  • Live sheep from southern New South Wales to Portland for export;
  • Live sheep, cattle and pigs from throughout the region and New South Wales to Bendigo livestock exchange markets;
  • Quarry products for road and building construction;
  • Concrete products from Echuca and Rochester to regional irrigation districts;
  • Rural supplies (petrol, diesel and general produce) to provincial towns; and
  • Coach tours related to the tourism industry.

Tourist features impacting this section of Northern Highway are:

  • Echuca, a holiday resort town situated at the junction of the Campaspe and Murray Rivers and in close proximity to Melbourne, provides recreational activities associated with the Murray River (river boats, paddle steamers, fishing and skiing);
  • Port of Echuca, formerly the largest inland port in Australia, with a rich colonial heritage;
  • Golden Cow at Tongala;
  • Fauna Park at Kyabram;
  • Various historic buildings at Elmore, Rochester and Echuca; and
  • Goldfields recreational activities at Bendigo.

In preparing the Option Analysis, RMG worked with Regional Roads Victoria – Northern Region to develop a matrix and criteria to assess various options against each other.  In undertaking this work RMG developed TRAffic on Rural Roads (TRARR) model along with facilitating workshops so that the most appropriate option was chosen, enabling Regional Roads Victoria to make a substantiated case to the Victorian State Government for funding of the Overtaking Lanes.  As a result of this work Overtaking Lanes on the Northern Highway between Elmore and Echuca have been constructed.  

 

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