Buffalo River Rd to close for dam upgrade

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

Day-time access across the dam wall at Lake Buffalo will close to traffic from Monday May 29 to Thursday June 1 as Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) completes an important upgrade to the structure.

The refurbishment of the dam’s three spillway gates, along with the replacement of lifting hoist mechanisms with modern equipment, has been a two-year project costing $3 million.

Last year, the first gate and its associated infrastructure was removed and replaced over winter. The remaining two gates, each weighing 12 tonnes, were removed in April this year and will be replaced over four days from May 29.

GMW and its contractor Global Factory Maintenance have been able to allow single-lane traffic on Buffalo River Rd where it traverses the dam wall during much of the construction period. However to ensure the safety of workers during the four days required for gate replacement, the road will be closed during the following times:

Full road closure from 8am to 4.30pm on Monday May 29 to Thursday June 1 inclusive. Alternative routes to bypass Lake Buffalo, depending on destination, include using Lake Buffalo Whitfield Rd, Carboor Rd and Long Corner Creek Rd.

A partial road closure, allowing single-lane access across the dam, will apply from 7.30am to 4.30pm on Friday June 2 to Wednesday June 14 inclusive.

GMW Regional Customer Service Manager East Martina Cusack said every effort will be made to complete the project on time however poor weather presents the greatest challenge.

“Should it rain heavily, Lake Buffalo can fill rapidly and potentially delay completion of the works,” Ms Cusack said.

Any unforeseen changes to the road closure plans will be conveyed to the public via electronic traffic signage, the media, GMW’s website and Facebook page and other means depending on circumstances.

The dam, completed in 1965, was originally built to serve a thriving tobacco industry by delivering irrigation water into the Ovens Valley via the Buffalo River. It now delivers water for dairy, cropping and vineyards and for urban supplies to high country towns like Myrtleford.