River Road works to continue

By Jared Loughnan

Further works will be undertaken over winter to improve and protect the lake foreshore along River Road from erosion as well as deliver a key project to help complete a unique $5.7m tourism trail.

Residents can expect this stage three foreshore protection works to be similar to those works done in stage one along Bank Street where the path/boardwalk is along the water’s edge and not adjacent to the road. 

These works mark the final stage in the development of the Yarrawonga Tourism Trail, a shared pathway improving pedestrian access from the current traffic bridge on the foreshore through to the Silverwoods development.

Residents along River Road will notice significant change not only with removal of the many willow trees but for those that have jetties will now be required to move and update them on to the new wall structure.

River Road resident Amanda Wheaton said there are many questions still to be answered as they had only been contacted via a letter two weeks ago.

“We have only been recently contacted via a letter that the works in front of our house are moving forward,” Mrs Wheaton said.

“We acknowledge that something needs to be done to halt the erosion that is occurring to the banks along River Road and welcome the retaining wall, however, details on exact plans of the proposed walkway have not been shown to us and when Goulburn Murray Water has been contacted to give such details, very vague answers have been given so far.

“It seems like it is being rushed through and we haven’t been given much opportunity for consultation at this stage- we have just been ”told” that it is happening. 

“We are concerned about how they are going to re-instate direct access from the front of our house to our jetties and how they are going to stop people parking along the narrow stretch of River Road when they want to fish or take a walk along the track. 

“These are answers we are yet to receive,” Mrs Wheaton said.

GMW Manager Dam Operations Tony Beamish said the small number of residents who are foreshore licence holders will be personally consulted with respect to the temporary removal and replacement of jetties.

He confirmed that like stages one and two, foreshore willow trees will be removed as part of the stage three works and replaced with advanced native species. Mr Beamish said these willows are mature trees near the end of their natural life.

Last year’s stage two works took place during the drawdown of Lake Mulwala from May to July.

“While convenient, lowering the lake is not necessary for these works which can be completed with the same level of safety and effectiveness at the current lake level.”

He said GMW is committed to minimising any inconvenience caused by construction for residents fronting the River Road works. 

Mr Beamish said GMW will be using special equipment to install steel sheet piling for the retaining wall, designed to minimise noise and vibration compared to other construction options. 

GMW is planning preliminary works during winter, with the retaining wall construction taking place in spring with some final landscaping. 

“These improvements guard against foreshore erosion and ensure the ongoing enjoyment and safety of recreational users while safeguarding water quality and environmental values of the lake,” Mr Beamish said.

The project is auspiced by Moira Shire Council and is jointly funded by the Federal Government, Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and Lotus Living.

Both the Silverwoods and River Road projects form part of the contribution towards the $2.7 million federally-funded grant recently awarded to Moira Shire, as part of the Regional Jobs and Investment Fund with the result being a $5.4 million unique tourism trail linking the centre of Yarrawonga to the Silverwoods development

Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica said “Once these stabilisation and pathway works are complete, the tourism trail will provide safe, off-road passage offering picturesque and uninterrupted views across Lake Mulwala for the thousands of tourists who visit the region each years.”

Mr Mustica said the tourism trail will benefit both residents and visitors to Yarrawonga.

“This development will help Yarrawonga unlock its potential by investing in a key project to support the town’s economic future,” he said.

Stage one works, comprising 160m of retaining wall, was completed in 2015 along Bank Street. Stage two, comprising a further 160m, was completed in 2018 along River Road. Stage three works will now continue from the vicinity of Hawkins Drive to the boat ramp at the Yarrawonga Yacht Club.

Stage three works include: 

Additional foreshore protection via retaining wall (length 360m).

Shared path 2.5m width (about 500m).

Barrier kerb along River Rd (about 500m).