Bogong High Plains Road reopened fully on Monday 27 May following 18 months of remediation and prevention works in response to a massive landslip.

The vital works have made travel on the iconic tourism route safer and more reliable, reducing risks of future landslips disrupting the journeys of skiers, visitors and residents.

A devastating rain event in October 2022 preceded the slow-moving landslip, which buried the road above Bogong Village with debris on a mammoth scale. The landslip scoured an area of mountainside 70 metres high and 100 metres wide. 

Among the biggest to impact Victoria’s roads network in 40 years, the landslip led to 18 months of road and lane closures on one of the state’s busiest tourism routes.

Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) worked closely with East Gippsland-based civil contractor Whelans Group Investments to complete the works and restore access.

Incrementally and safely, crews excavated and removed from the road and slope about 600,000 tonnes of material – equivalent to nearly 9700 E-class trams.

Crews amassed over 200,000 work hours before full two-way traffic was restored. During the works, they used specialist equipment such as 30-tonne excavators, all-terrain mobile spider excavators, articulated dump trucks and dozers to complete the complex works while negotiating the slope face.

As a part of its commitment to First Nations employment opportunities, Whelans engaged Gunaikurnai-owned-and-operated Solomon and Sons for earthmoving services on the project. Solomon delivered close to $1 million of works and employed new workers as result.

Local businesses including Jackson Earthmoving, Mt Beauty Hardware, accommodation providers, cleaning firms and cartage companies shared in over millions of dollars of work in a boost to the regional economy.

Crews have also successfully completed major works to repair a second smaller landslip that occurred in May last near Mt Beauty, which included construction of a large retaining wall. 

Finishing works will continue in the area including landscaping and maintenance of haulage tracks around the landslip.

Quotes attributable to Major Road Projects Victoria Program Director Dipal Sorathia

“The team’s commitment to this project has been inspiring, with many people spending months away from their family and friends due to its remote location.”

“In all my years in the industry I’ve never encountered a project like Bogong, and although the circumstances were unfortunate, it’s been incredible to be a part of.”

Quotes attributable to Whelans Group Investments General Manager Tim Whelan

“The opening of the road ahead of the ski season last year was a key highlight for me.”

“When we took over the project in February it was a gruelling couple of months to clear the road of all the debris and have everything in place to open the single lane safely, and we shared in the excitement with the community when it opened, and now that two-way traffic is restored. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing team, which has tirelessly taken on the enormous challenges the project has kept throwing at us, and to finally get to where we are now, it’s been an incredible journey.”