Contract awarded for Bridge Mall redevelopment

Design for Bridge Mall redevelopment showing Sturt Street entry into Bridge Mall

Construction works on the Bridge Mall redevelopment are a step closer to commencing after Ballarat City Council awarded the contract for the main civil works and landscaping.

At the April council meeting on Wednesday night, experienced civil construction company 2Construct was awarded the contract to complete the major redevelopment works, with a contract value of $12,629,486 (ex GST). The contract includes works to redevelop Grenville Street, Bridge Mall and Coliseum Walk.  

The civil infrastructure and landscape contractor is known for revitalising Warrnambool’s main commercial street and delivering transformations to Southbank Boulevard in Melbourne’s Arts Precinct, Melton town centre and constructing Geelong’s green spine streetscape in Malop Street.

Works on the Bridge Mall redevelopment are expected to commence mid-year with the construction expected to take 12 months.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson said the awarding of the contract marks an important milestone for the long-awaited Bridge Mall revitalisation project.

“We are excited to reach the stage of awarding the contract to an accomplished civil construction company and we look forward to the works soon getting underway,” he said.

Cr Hudson said the City of Ballarat will work closely with the contractor and traders throughout the construction phase to minimise disruption to traders and shoppers as much as possible.

“As with any major construction project, we know there will be challenges. However, this is the oldest retail precinct in Ballarat with some outstanding locally-owned businesses.

“We will be encouraging the community to support their favourite businesses in the mall throughout the works.

“Once completed, this will be a revitalised space that brings renewed heart and soul to retail in the centre of Ballarat.”

The redevelopment will also provide an economic stimulus to the precinct that will then work to attract new customers to existing businesses, new traders, further investment and encourage the restoration and maintenance of Ballarat’s historic buildings and architecture.

Council also approved an additional budget allocation of $3,600,000 in the 2024/25 financial year through the inclusion of a new borrowing in the 2023/24 draft budget, which takes the total project budget to $18,600,000 (ex GST).

The initial $15 million budget for the redevelopment was identified in May 2019. The significant and extensive design process completed final detailed plans, and a final cost plan, in late 2022.

Construction costs across the industry have significantly increased above 2019 levels, leading to additional costs associated with the project.

Fully-funded by the City of Ballarat, the Bridge Mall redevelopment is Stage 1 of the wider renewal of the Bakery Hill precinct as part of the Bakery Hill Urban Renewal Plan.

The redevelopment covers upgrades to the mall between Grenville and Peel Streets, Grenville Street between Curtis and Little Bridge Street, with minor access and safety improvements to pockets of Little Bridge Street.

Key design features include a landscaped entry from Sturt Street, a shared streetscape with one-way low-speed vehicle access, smart street lighting and projections, limited parking and better access for people of all abilities.  

It also includes new street furniture and bluestone paving, cultural elements reflected in the designs, including a portal to the Yarrowee River flowing beneath the street, and event friendly spaces for markets, festivities, and special events.

The City of Ballarat will now work with the contractor and traders to map out the construction stage, including the schedule of works.

A separate tender process is also underway for the provision for a specialist design and construction contractor to deliver the new play space. An announcement is expected within the next month.