Dim view of traffic light issue

By Tate Papworth

In November last year the Brimbank council expressed its delight that work had finished on a $4.46 million project to duplicate Hume Drive.

The project, a joint effort between Brimbank and Melton councils, doubled the available lanes on the popular road and included the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Hume Drive and Overton Lea Boulevard.

But if you ask frustrated motorists, the project is far from finished.

Five months on, the traffic lights have not been switched on – despite council assertions that the job is done.

One motorist labelled the works a disgrace.

“The lights are still not in use, it’s causing a lot of problems,” he said.

“We’ve exhausted all avenues. Everyone is blaming each other – VicRoads, Melton council, Brimbank council.”

Brimbank council contributed about $1 million to the project which was managed by Melton council.

Melton capital projects manager David Caligari said a number of setbacks had caused the delays.

“Due to technical setbacks and a cross boundary location, the traffic signals at Hume Drive and Overton Lea Boulevard have taken longer than expected to be switched on,” he said.

“The physical location of the traffic signals across the administrative boundary of electricity distribution networks has caused complications in the meter allocation process.

“In addition, defects in the civil and electrical works related to the power supply required rectifications and a mandatory re-approval process.

“We understand motorists’ frustration and this is a priority that we are actively following up with the electricity providers and VicRoads.”

The council has resubmitted relevant documentation, however it still doesn’t know when the lights will be switched on.

Construction on the project began in March last year and was estimated to be completed by mid to late 2018. The works also included landscaping improvements and upgrades to existing roundabouts.