Giant timber wood carvings reflecting local native animals have been craned into place along Yan Yean Road, as part of the finishing touches on the first stage of the upgrade.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green was onsite and inspected the unique sculptures as they were installed along the shared footpaths on Friday.

The striking artworks have been created using re-purposed trees from the project area and have been placed where they can be enjoyed by the community.

Local artist Leigh Conkie has 35 years’ experience with chainsaw carvings and was commissioned to design the totems.

The final designs were inspired by community feedback and include two swift parrots, a tiger snake and a phascogale.

The phascogale is a small marsupial with a brush-tail, that lives in the Plenty area. Each animal totem is also accompanied by additional wooden artwork.

Leigh spent several months creating the two-metre tall sculptures using just a chainsaw and chisel in his studio.

These art pieces are a legacy for the community to celebrate the $131.2 million upgrade, which has improved safety on almost four kilometres of Yan Yean Road.

In addition, eight bespoke timber bench seats also made from repurposed tree trunks have been spread along the stretch of Yan Yean Road between Diamond Creek Road and Kurrak Road.

To help maintain the important local plant diversity, more than 2000 seeds collected from the site will be used to landscape the area.

Residents of Yarrambat and Doreen will also benefit from stage two of the Yan Yean Road Upgrade, with construction expected to commence once the Environmental Effects Statement process is complete.

A community event will be held in the coming months to celebrate the end of works for Stage 1 of the upgrade. Both stages of the upgrade of Yan Yean Road has been delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green

“These fantastic wooden artworks are a great reminder of how repurposed timber from the construction site can benefit the local community.”

“The residents of Plenty can now enjoy using the new shared footpaths while taking in views of the six striking totems that depict native animals indigenous to the area”.

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