The Ballarat Link Road is a key transport priority of the City of Ballarat. The 16 kilometre road will be a major north-south arterial road and will provide a direct link from the Western Freeway to the Midland Highway. The project will be delivered in stages over the next few decades, subject to demand and funding.
The State Government has provided $38 million to plan the entire 16 kilometre road corridor and to construct Stage 1, between Remembrance Drive in Alfredton and Learmonth Road in Mitchell Park.
Ballarat Link Road will deliver a range of economic, social and environmental benefits along the city’s western growth corridor including Ballarat West and the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ). Regional and metropolitan centres will also benefit.
Key benefits include:
Strengthening the economic base of regional Victoria
Facilitating diverse job creation for regional Victorians
Improving access and connectivity for residents and businesses
Improving cohesiveness between environmental areas (such as waterways), key open space and recreational destinations. For example, around 4500 trees and plants have been planted as part of Stage 1 of the project
Combining a wildlife and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands (Stage 1)
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental costs
Construction of Stage 1A is complete. The section includes 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.
SOUTHERN SECTION (STAGE 1B) – Underway
Stage 1B Project to Deliver:
Two lane road between Remembrance Drive and Liberator Drive,
Roadworks include earthworks, services relocation, drainage, pavement construction, asphalting, road sealing, line marking, sign installation, lighting and landscaping,
Re-alignment of Blind Creek Road,
Overpass of the Ballarat - Ararat Railway,
Combined wildlife crossing and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands (Winter Swamp),
Traffic lights at the intersection of Remembrance Drive/Dyson Drive and Gregory Street West/Ring Road, and
Shared walking and cycling path.
Time Frame: January 2017 to 2018.
Construction Value: $15.3 million.
Contractor: Winslow Constructors Pty. Ltd
Final planning and design of Stage 1B is complete and pre-construction activities have now been completed. These works included:
Establishment of the City of Ballarat and Winslow Constructors Site Offices at the N-W corner of Blind Creek Road and Ring Road,
Removal of trees along the proposed alignment of the road corridor along Blind Creek Road, Ring Road and Mullawallah Wetlands (Winter Swamp),
Aboriginal cultural heritage related inspections and pre-construction clearances between Blind Creek Road and Liberator Drive (BWEZ) have been completed by Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation representatives and a qualified archaeologist from Terraculture to commence major earthworks in this section of the road,
All pre-construction clearances and inspections by a qualified environmental person from AECOM Australia have been carried out in relation to managing projects subject to a Not Controlled-Action Particular Manner (NCA-PM) decision under the national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act),
All site survey, set outs and fencing of the construction site is complete in preparations for the earthworks to commence, and
Time-lapse photography camera has been installed to capture and monitor the progress of the project in real time.
The construction of the Rail Overpass of the Ballarat-Ararat railway line is progressing well. Key activities for the construction of a Rail Overpass completed till to-date include:
Erection of security fences along the rail corridor,
Significant earthworks between Blind Creek Road and Liberator Drive (BWEZ) in preparation of the approach embankments for the construction of the Rail Overpass,
Ground improvement work confined in the space behind the security fences. This included additional treatment of unsuitable material beneath the proposed Northern Bridge Abutment and drainage improvement works,
Relocation of overhead electrical supply from Ring Road on to Broadbent to underground and other power poles,
South Abutment - All columns have been installed and poured. Bottom row of RE Walls has been placed.
North Abutment - All columns have been installed and poured. Two bottom rows of RE Walls have been placed.
Bridge beams lifted into position
Roundabout at the Ballarat Link Road/realigned Blind Creek Road:
Construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of Ballarat Link Road/realigned Blind Creek Road is underway and has started to take shape. Drainage installation and services relocation continues. Realignment of Blind Creek Road has also started to take shape.
Frequent users of Blind Creek Road are advised the road will be closed to traffic between Ring Road and the Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail during the construction period.
The road closure will commence on 4 December 2017 and remain in place until 31 March 2018.
Traffic diversions will be in place, and drivers are advised to seek alternative routes via Crown and Sceptre Road, Launchley Driver and Remembrance Drive.
Works are underway on combined wildlife crossing and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands (Winter Swamp). The culvert base slab has been poured and stripped. Culverts have been placed.
Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP)
Archaeological Excavations were earlier awarded the contract through a public tender process to undertake the salvage, assessment and recording of indigenous cultural heritage along the alignment. The salvage works have been completed, enabling civil works to begin while earthworks are also forging ahead.
This includes a program of archaeological cultural salvage to mitigate harm to the Aboriginal Place salvage in accordance with the adopted Cultural Heritage Management Plan which was completed in recognition of the cultural significance of the location.
The City of Ballarat has been working 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.
LUCAS SECTION (Stage 1C) - Completed
Stage 1C involved 600 metres of road between Remembrance Drive and The Terrace, Lucas (opposite the Lucas Neighbourhood Activity Centre). 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.
REMEMBRANCE DRIVE/AVENUE OF HONOUR INTERSECTION (Stage 1D) - Completed
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.
Amendment C170 aims to ensure land is set aside for Stage 2, which includes around 12 kilometres of road from south of The Terrace in Alfredton to the Midland Highway. Stage 2 is expected to be constructed over the next few decades.