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 Highway to the Midland Highway. The project will be delivered in stages over the next 25 years, 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 Winter Swamp (Stage 1)
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental costs
Stage 1 is being delivered in 4 stages: Stage 1A, Stage 1B, Stage 1C and Stage 1D.
NORTHERN SECTION (Stage 1A) - Completed
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 of the Ballarat Link Road project has commenced in 2017 with the tender for construction awarded at an Ordinary Meeting of Council on December 14, 2016.
Winslow Constructors Pty Ltd were awarded the contract as a result of a public tender process. The contract includes all works between the Remembrance Drive – Dyson Drive signalised cross intersection, construction of a bridge over the Ballarat-Ararat Rail Line and construction of a signalised cross intersection at Ring Road-Gregory Street West.
Works are underway and are expected to be complete in 2018.
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 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 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.
Significant earthworks are underway between Blind Creek Road and Liberator Drive (BWEZ) in preparation for the construction of a rail overbridge over the Ararat-Melbourne rail line.
Time-lapse photography camera has been installed to capture and monitor the progress of the project in real time.
The salvage, assessment and recording of indigenous cultural heritage along the alignment is underway. The salvage works commenced in December, 2016 and is expected to be complete in 2017.
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.
STAGE 2 – Planning
Planning for Stage 2 of the Ballarat Link Road is also underway. A Planning Panels Victoria Hearing was held on 16 November 2016 to consider the Ballarat Planning Scheme Amendment C170. The amendment 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.