Locals are so frustrated by the dangerously potholed state of a road that they are threatening to close it and leaving ‘safety signs’ warning of ‘Danholes’, leaving no doubt who they blame for the crumbling infrastructure.
Dean Kruger, a local farmer, shared photos of the huge potholes on the Melba Highway, just north of the northeast Victorian town of Glenburn.
“This would have to be one of the worst sections of road in Victoria,” he said as the camera showed worn asphalt and also warning signs telling motorists there was an “uneven surface” and to “slow down”. .
They’re not potholes, they’re craters,” Kruger told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
“People say ‘it’s just bumps.’ It’s not just potholes, this is a deadly dangerous road and it’s not the people in Spring Street (Parliament House Victoria) who have to deal with it, it’s the local CFA members who are the first responders to the car accident.
Glenburn farmer Dean has posted images showing large potholes on the local Melba Highway.
‘It’s the poor family that lives next to this road that comes down when they hear the bang and they have to deal with it.
You are talking about young parents. You are talking about the elderly who have to deal with these creepy scenes.
Mr Kruger said the nearest ambulance to the stretch of road between Glenburn and Yea where there had been “multiple fatalities” was 25 minutes away.And the nearest hospital was an hour’s drive away.
He said he felt physically sick standing by the side of the road seeing close calls every few minutes due to the state of the road.
“What happens is that these cars pass at 40 km and then the trucks don’t slow down,” he said.
“I’ve seen several times where trucks almost cleared multiple rows of cars that literally stopped to go through these potholes.”
“Trucks slow to about 80 then veer to the opposite side of the road where they get into the other lane.”
There are two potholes 50 meters from each other that take up the entire southbound lane.
Dean has begun putting up his own warning signs on the dilapidated Melba Highway in central Victoria,
‘The problem is that the signage says ‘road works ahead slow 40 km’.
‘When they don’t see staff on the road, they say “why am I slowing down?”
Kruger said the highway and other regional highways have been in a deplorable state for “at least three years.”
“There was a landslide where rocks fell three years ago in the emergency stop lane that has been there for three years,” he said.
It just has one of those arrow signs which is the best they can do.
The exasperated farmer has taken matters into his own hands by putting up his own signs, which read ‘Danholes ahead’, ‘Caution Dan scoring zone ahead’ and ‘Caution Danyears sponsored potholes’.
“It was the only thing I could do,” he said.
‘I have to do something about it, it has to be on people’s radar.’
He said a Vic Roads employee had removed the first set of signs, but he had plenty of replacements and the community was behind him with even more drastic measures in the works.
Dean says that Vic Roads’ staff came out to take down his posters, but he has a lot more to wage a “war of attrition”.
Kruger claimed that potholes on the Melba Highway were being filled “on the cheap”.
“They are not using road paving companies based on qualified engineers,” he said.
“They’ve just done a stretch south of Glenburn and two months from now the road is horrendous so they’re not doing the sub-grade right.
“They’re walking around with bags of quick pothole filler and putting that in there and thinking that’s the job done, but it’s not.
‘Regional Roads Victoria has allocated $79 million for road maintenance. That will cover some witch hats.
A Victorian government spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that roads sustained significant flood damage last year in “one of the wettest years in Victoria’s history.”
“We are moving forward with repairing unprecedented levels of damage done to our road network,” the spokesperson said.
“We have already allocated $165 million to carry out emergency flood repairs, and another $770 million will be spent on maintaining our roads over the next 12 months as part of our continued investment in maintaining Victoria’s road assets.”
‘The road is built from the surrounding earth. They are not flood waters. It’s poor maintenance and construction from the start,’ Mr. Kruger.
“For the next two weeks we will have a community meeting about organizing a protest and closing that section of road on a Friday,” Kruger said, saying the local councilor is fully behind him.
‘We will get the Victoria Police involved so that we have road management.
‘This is about road safety, this is about lives.’
Locals have created Facebook groups lamenting the state of the Melba highway and other roads in the region.
Comedian Simon Lance posted terrifying footage showing a speeder in the dead of night hitting huge potholes on the Melba Highway and jumping before the driver slams on the brakes.
“Ohhh… man, that’s dangerous,” exclaims Mr. Lance.
‘That guy just damaged his car. I’d better go see if he needs help.
Lance, who was once married to Melbourne gang lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson, said he had also hit the bumps.
‘I damaged my car. I had electrical problems,’ she said.
‘My car went into limp mode, it wasn’t running. I was at the mechanic for three days until they figured it out.
“Also a family friend hit these potholes on her wheel and actually broke her wheel.”
“If you’re doing a 100 and you don’t see them, it’s probably dangerous.”
‘We are not in a third world country. This has been going on for over a year, it’s fucking ridiculous.
The local state’s Liberal MP, Cindy McLeish, told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that there were long stretches of road that were “very dangerous” in her constituency.
‘It’s absolutely shocking. It’s been bad for years and the rain has made it worse,” he said.
Locals say that the Victoria’s Melba road is riddled with dangerous potholes that damage cars.
“The area we’re talking about from Yea to Mansfield is a freeway, so it’s the Melba highway that’s really bad, then it joins the Goulburn valley and then the Maroondah highway to Mansfield.”
“There are stretches 20 or 30 meters long where the road surface has deteriorated, then there are 10 meters where it has almost caved in and there are potholes everywhere.
The surfaces are cracking, the shoulders are crumbling.
She said the cars were often forced to make roadside repairs.
“What is really common is to see cars on the side of the road, changing tires or having damaged tires with the RACV or the tow trucks, especially at times of a lot of tourism,” he said.
“They (tourists) are not used to dodging potholes, while the locals are used to knowing that the roads are in bad shape.
“All of that is dangerous because if you hit a pothole you can lose control of a vehicle.”
Ms McLeish said she can’t walk down the street without someone telling her about the bad roads and that they weren’t always locals with many trips from eastern Melbourne to the ski resorts of Mt Bulla and Mt Hotham.
He has raised the issue many times in parliament and tried to speak directly to the Andrews government on the issue.
“Over the years I have written to various road ministers and they usually say that we are investing either in Victoria or North Victoria over these five years or over many years and all roads are assessed as a matter of priority,” he said.
“The government says there isn’t enough money, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar if Regional Highways or Victorian Highways had the amount of money that goes into removing a level crossing they could make a huge difference.
“There is some money and you are choosing where to put that money and you are not choosing to fix the abysmal conditions of the regional roads in Victoria.”
Mrs. McLeish has even started a request to the Victorian Legislative Assembly to fix the roads in his region, which on Thursday afternoon had more than 1,500 signatures.