Stage 1 of Ballarat’s landmark transport project will open today. The Ballarat Link Road future-proofs the municipality for planned growth and connectivity by providing a direct link from the Western Freeway to the Midland Highway. The state government provided $38 million to plan the 16km road corridor between the Midland Highway and Mitchell Park and to construct Stage 1, between Remembrance Drive in Alfredton and Learmonth Road in Mitchell Park. The City of Ballarat delivered this stage of construction via a contract with Winslow Constructors. Stage 1B brought significant benefits for the local economy, with $15 million of the total $20 million project budget spent locally. Today marks a pivotal step in progressing towards a better connected city, with this section of the Ballarat Link Road opening to traffic from 3.30pm. The City of Ballarat is actively pursuing the state and federal governments for the $80 million required to construct Stage 2 of Ballarat Link Road and to duplicate Stage 1.
Stage 2 of Ballarat Link Road will connect Remembrance Drive and the Glenelg Highway, and will also add a single lane in either direction to the Glenelg Highway. City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said a completed Ballarat Link Road project solved problems Ballarat currently faces around heavy freight movements in the CBD, and congestion. “Local roads are increasingly unable to accommodate the transport needs of a growing region, and the Ballarat Link Road brings signiﬁcant improvements in safety and amenity in the CDB as heavy vehicles and volumes of traﬃc are diverted around the city,” she said. “Once completed it will improve travel times for residents in Ballarat’s western fringes, reduce congestion and traffic-related pollution in the heart of the city, and dramatically improve safety by reducing truck volumes and road crashes by 20 per cent.” Cr McIntosh said enhancing Ballarat’s liveability and delivering on ambitions of a big picture vision for the city was integral in meeting the demands of population growth and development across the region. “Construction of the second stage is a priority project for our city, it’s integral to our strategic vision as a progressive and innovative regional city,” Cr McIntosh said. “We work to create opportunities for our city and don’t simply wait for them to come our way – that’s why we are advocating to ensure both levels of government understand the significance of this project in reinforcing our position as the capital of Western Victoria.” In October 2017, a City of Ballarat delegation visited Spring Street to advocate for the long-term priority project and, Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh and CEO Justine Linley continued the push for federal government support during a visit to Canberra during the same month. The lobbying efforts have continued in the lead up to this year’s State Election. Securing funding for this priority project (Stage 2) will bring significant benefits, including:
• Improved transport network efficiency:
» 10 per cent reduction of travel times in Ballarat West
» 10 per cent increase of vehicles throughout Ballarat West
• Ensuring Ballarat’s growth areas continue to be seen as safe, attractive locations:
» Support an increase of population growth rate by 20 per cent
» Reduction of truck volumes in Ballarat CBD by 20 per cent
» Reduce road crashes/improve road safety in Ballarat 20 per cent
• Continued public and private investment and development:
» Increase output in freight and logistics by 10 per cent
» Increase investment activity in Ballarat West by 10 per cent. Cr McIntosh said other benefits following the completion of the Ballarat Link Road include the possibility of more than 4,000 jobs created in the region and more than 9,200 jobs overall through stimulated growth in residential growth areas (construction and retail opportunities), industry development (BWEZ), and other ancillary development. “We’re also talking about significantly reducing vehicle volumes of traffic along existing arterial roads - Sturt Street is expected to decrease from 23,000 vehicles to 8,970 vehicles a day,” she said. The Ballarat Link Roads sets our growing city up for a strong future, providing us with a competitive advantage and helping to cement our position as the Capital of the West.” Quotes attributable to Winslow CEO Trevor Lockwood: “Winslow Infrastructure have been extremely pleased to be involved in this major transport project that improves access and connectivity for Ballarat, providing quality infrastructure for future generations. We would like to congratulate the City of Ballarat and all parties who have been involved in the delivery of a safe and successful outcome, including the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation who ensured the sites were managed in the most sensitive manner.” Stage 1 deliverables: Stage 1A (Northern Section) included 1.7 kilometres between the intersection of Waringa Drive and Learmonth Road in Mitchell Park and the intersection of Ring Road and Trewin Street in Wendouree. The section will act as a catalyst for growth in Ballarat West given it connects the Ballarat West Employment Zone to Ring Road and Learmonth Road, and provides direct access to the Western Freeway.
Stage 1B (Southern section) of the Ballarat Link Road project included 2.5-kilometre road connecting Remembrance Drive to Liberator Drive in to the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) near the intersection of Ring Road and Trewin Street. The project included a rail overpass of the Ballarat–Ararat Railway, combined wildlife crossing and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands. Traffic lights were also installed at the intersection of Remembrance Drive and Dyson Drive, and shared walking and cycling paths were constructed.
The project also included earthworks, services relocation, drainage, lighting and landscaping, as well as the realignment and upgrade of Blind Creek Road, as well as significant works to salvage, assess and record the Indigenous cultural heritage in partnership with the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation to ensure the culturally-significant sites along the proposed road alignment are managed in the most effective and sensitive manner. Stage 1C involved 600 metres of road between Remembrance Drive and The Terrace, Lucas. Works included installation of a bus shelter and traffic signals at the Coltman Plaza intersection, and a partial upgrade of the Remembrance Drive intersection. Construction of this section has improved safety and accessibility for road users. Stage 1D involved construction of a cross intersection at Remembrance Drive and Dyson Drive in Lucas. Works included installation of traffic signals, and conservation of the Heritage Victoria listed Avenue of Honour trees and plaques.
Another step closer to a connected Ballarat
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