Road collapse caused by flooding cuts off Gooramadda Road in north-east Victoria

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A road collapse caused by flooding in north-east Victoria has cut a regional road in half.

Gooramadda Road, just outside Rutherglen, has been closed for the past two weeks after a large section of the road was washed away.

Olive Grove owner Melanie Coid said locals had dubbed it the “Gooramadda Gorge” after it appeared on November 14.

“In the morning there was water on the road and by evening the road had completely collapsed,” Coid said.

“There was a six meter wide and two meter deep chasm.

“The locals still have access to the road, it is still safe, but the road is cut off, so you cannot drive the road in its entirety.

“It’s extraordinarily impressive. You can see all the different colors in the ground levels.”

Gooramada road
The sinkhole is starting to open on Gooramadda Road.(Provided by: Melanie Coid)

Indigo Shire Council said in a statement that the road would remain closed until repairs could be made.

“At this stage we cannot provide a time frame until we have appointed a contractor and received their building plan,” a spokesman said.

“We will replace the culvert with larger infrastructure that has increased capacity to handle significant rainfall events.

“We believe the culvert has become blocked, causing a damming effect on the inlet side. This had led to the embankment becoming saturated and causing it to fail at the culvert location.”

There are currently concrete barriers in place to prevent vehicles from passing and pedestrian fencing to prevent people from getting close to the site.

Indigo Shire Council urged HGV drivers to follow the road closure signs to avoid having to turn around a B-double lorry at the cut-off point.

‘We are still open’

Ms Coid said her business had a week’s trading since the sinkhole appeared and the number of visitors had dropped significantly, with only a handful of people turning up.

Gooramadda olives
High rainfall has not yet affected the yield, but has made it difficult to get machinery into the olive grove.(ABC Rural: Annie Brown)

“We’re heading into Christmas and it’s usually a busy time of year for us and the other wineries and businesses on Gooramadda Road,” she said.

“We are missing the passing tourist trade and I want everyone to know we are still open.

“But you have to stay positive, we all know each other along the road, so last weekend we had a street party at the gorge.

“We grabbed our chairs, some nibbles and a couple of ales and caught up.

“There is even some talk about decorating the barriers with Christmas decorations, and there may be a Christmas party at the gorge.”

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