Works begin on Bridge Mall redevelopment
Construction works are underway to redevelop the Bridge Mall.
Experienced civil infrastructure and landscape contractor 2Construct has begun works on stage one, the Peel Street end, of the Bridge Mall section of works. Demolition works will include the removal of the main canopy, street furniture and pavers.
The redevelopment will be completed in two major sections – the Bridge Mall section and the Grenville Street section – with the redevelopment expected to take about 12 months.
The Bridge Mall section will be redeveloped in four stages, starting at the Peel Street end, and moving westerly towards Grenville Street.
Next month, a parallel section of works will start along Grenville Street. Grenville Street will be redeveloped in three stages, with the south-bound lane closed to traffic. South-bound traffic will continue to be able to travel easterly along Curtis Street while vehicles will no longer be able to turn right from Sturt Street into Grenville Street.
The staged work is designed to reduce disruption to shoppers and traders, as much as possible. Shoppers will be able to access businesses and nearby car parking throughout the construction period.
A 1.5 to 2 metre wide temporary pedestrian access will be maintained for all shops and businesses. Temporary fencing will be installed around each stage of construction to divert pedestrians around the works.
Fully-funded by the City of Ballarat, the redevelopment features a landscaped entry into the mall, a shared streetscape with one-way, low speed vehicle access and a dynamic new play space.
The redevelopment also includes a portal to the Yarrowee River flowing beneath the mall, smart street lighting and projections, limited parking and better access for people of all abilities.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it is exciting to see works commence on the long-awaited Bridge Mall redevelopment.
“The Bridge Mall redevelopment demonstrates that we are committed to delivering a better Ballarat,” he said.
"Once completed, the Bridge Mall revitilisation project will bring renewed heart and soul to retail in the centre of Ballarat, encouraging more people to meet and stay in the precinct.”
Cr Hudson encouraged the community to support their favourite businesses in the mall throughout the works.
“The City of Ballarat will work closely with the contractor and traders throughout the construction phase to minimise disruption to traders and shoppers where possible,” he said.
“As with any major construction project, we know there will be challenges. It has never been more important for people to support traders in the Bridge Mall – to shop local and support local.”
2Construct is known for revitalising Warrnambool’s main commercial street and constructing Geelong’s green spine streetscape in Malop Street.
2Construct Director Peter Rahilly said the civil infrastructure and landscape contractor was thrilled to be appointed as head contractor for the Bakery Hill redevelopment project.
“Working closely with the City of Ballarat, our construction team look forward to renewing the Bakery Hill precinct as a cutting-edge retail destination in Ballarat,” he said.
Bridge Mall Business Association (BMBA) President Wendy McLachlan said many years of planning from the City of Ballarat has led to this starting point of change to begin the next chapter of Ballarat’s most historical retail precinct.
“This change will be a welcomed catalyst for investment and new retailers to join the precinct which will enhance the existing retailers and services,” she said.
“The BMBA welcomes the connection of the Bridge Mall to Sturt Street with the bike path and the planned streetscaping of gardens and community space, as well the shared space with vehicle access into the new space.
“During construction it is business as usual as we change in front of you.”
Landscape architects Hassell developed the final designs for the precinct after extensive consultation with the community, traders, landowners as well as the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to ensure cultural elements were reflected in these designs.
As a result, an arch symbol, representing Wadawurrung People gathering will be embedded in the pavement while a portal will provide a window and a connection to the Yarrowee River, a significant cultural landscape, flowing below.
The designs also draw from the name ‘Ballaarat’, which means ‘resting place’ or ‘bended elbow’, encouraging people to slow down, gather and connect with one another.
Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Interim Chief Executive Officer Liam Murphy said including Wadawurrung in the design process is important as it gives recognition to the city’s First Peoples, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, and reminds the broader community that they are on Wadawurrung Country.
“We are grateful to the City of Ballarat for including Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation in the process.”
The Bridge Mall redevelopment is a key project of the City of Ballarat’s Bakery Hill Urban Renewal Plan.
The Bakery Hill Urban Renewal Plan is the first step in revitalising the Ballarat CBD and aims to reinvigorate the area as a vibrant destination for shoppers, diners, residents and visitors.
The City of Ballarat will ensure the new streetscape honours the names in the historical named pavers.
The pavers, located near the playground, reflect the efforts of many in our community and will be moved to greet people at the entrance to the Bridge Mall, where the Sturt Street gardens are extended into Grenville Street.
The Bridge Mall redevelopment demonstrates that we are committed to delivering a better Ballarat.
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