Clearing up Victoria's largest landslip in 40 years

Riders taking to the high country during Peaks Challenge 2024 will be treated to some magnificent landscapes, and a few stark reminders that some are more fragile than others.

While pedalling along Bogong High Plains Road towards Mount Beauty, where two lanes are restricted to one for a short stretch, they’ll be confronted by the site of the largest landslip on Victorian roads in 40 years.

Work continues to clear the mass of material measuring around 70m high and 100m wide, which was triggered by devastating rainfall in October 2022 and rendered the key connection to Victoria’s stunning alpine region impassable.

The event proved a devastating blow for the community, severely impacting trade for summer operators and ruling out the 2023 Peaks Challenge in March. It also left geotechnical experts, construction workers and Major Road Projects Victoria with a mammoth clean-up job.

Acting swiftly through harsh conditions, which included earth tremors and another rare rain event, the recovery team moved more than 75,000 cubic metres of material within six months to restore a single lane of traffic in time for the winter season. 

In steps to stablise the surrounding landscape, the team has applied 20,000 square metres of biodegradable coir matting to secure the slope, and installed 25 temporary sensors to detect and instantly notify them of any movement.

Other upgrades include new drainage and earthworks, asphalt resurfacing and road strengthening to improve the resilience of one of Victoria’s busiest tourism routes, which is used by tens of thousands of visitors each year.

By Christmas, workers had removed 250,000 tonnes of material and had about 400,000 remaining. Once the job is done, the works will leave the road safer and more resilient to landslips, providing the local community with confidence of year-round access.

“The clearing of thousands of tonnes of debris is an important part of the landslip rectification process – but it’s a daunting one given the significant size of this landslip,” says Major Road Projects Victoria program director Dipal Sorathia.

“Over the coming months we’ll complete the long-term rectification to bring back the road better and more resilient than before the devastating rainfall event in October 2022.”

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