Floods cut Melbourne-Adelaide road links


Western, Pyrenees and Wimmera highways closed as VicRoads advises caution to truck drivers

By Ruza Zivkusic | January 14, 2010

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is urging truck drivers to plan ahead when hitting the road as Victoria’s three major highways are closed due to rising flood waters in the state’s northwest.

VTA Deputy Chief Executive Officer Neil Chambers is calling on drivers not to dispatch trucks in risky areas but to stay informed on the latest flood affected areas.

"Drivers need to be careful and customers need to be patient too; people need to be aware that the supply chain is disrupted and we need to be patient as the transport industry will do the best they can do deliver goods when roads are flooded and damaged," Chambers says.

Traffic management centre VicRoads is reporting major road closures, including the Western Highway between Ballarat and Horsham, the Pyrenees Highway between Avoca and Ararat and the Wimmera Highway in two places.

Heavy rain and storms have been forecast across the state over the next few days, resulting in slippery roads.

Truck drivers are advised to use headlights if visibility is impaired and leave a greater distance between their own vehicle and the one in front.

Due to strong winds drivers are reminded to secure their load and avoid any unnecessary travel.

Up to 160 roads across the state are closed due to the weather, as of 11.46am today.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Avoca, Wimmera, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers.

Melbourne haulage firm M&S Transport, which has a regular run to Adelaide, is yet to see how the weather might affect its operations, General Manager Travis Madden says.

"We haven’t had any trouble with the Victorian roads yet but we have had trouble accessing Queensland due to floods," Madden says.

"It was a 48-hour day and we had our fleet affected but that’s resolved now.

"We will be affected in Victoria but I can’t say in what way until I know what exactly is closed and what’s not."

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