By VINNIE RODI

VICROADS is adamant that a new pedestrian crossing on Deakin Avenue near the Mildura Central shopping complex will not cause future traffic congestion, or increase the likelihood of an accident, despite resident concern.

The crossing, which is currently under construction, is located approximately 50 metres from the busy Fifteenth Street and Deakin Avenue roundabout, with the Mildura Weekly receiving numerous calls from concerned residents and nearby businesses during the past few weeks as works ramp up.

According to VicRoads acting regional director, Mal Kersting, the crossing will incorporate pedestrian-operated signals with a timer that counts down the amount of time left for the green ‘walk’ signal.

The crossing will also include new street lighting, concrete paths and widening of the central median.

“Advance signage will also be in place to identify the crossing to approaching motorists,” Mr Kersting said. “The location of the crossing took into consideration the shopping centre to provide the most convenient and safest crossing for all users.

Major issues raised by concerned residents include increased traffic congestion in the area, more specifically an increased likelihood that traffic could back up into the busy roundabout once the new crossing becomes widely used.

According to nearby businesses, work has already seen Deakin Avenue on both sides of the centre plantation reduced to one lane at peak times, resulting in a backlog of vehicles creating congestion in the Fifteenth Street roundabout.

An estimated 9000 vehicles use the Deakin Avenue and Fifteenth Street roundabout each day, according to Mildura Rural City Council figures obtained prior to the closure of the roundabout two years ago to accommodate other major works.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this month, with the joint VicRoads and Mildura Rural City Council project funded through the Building Our Regions fund.

• HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you agree that once complete, the new pedestrian crossing near the Deakin Avenue and Fifteenth Street roundabout will be cause for concern? Will its location affect local traffic and create congestion? Email your thoughts to lettersdesk@milduraweekly.com.au, or post a comment on our Facebook page.