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The Ballarat Link Road Rail Overpass

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CONSTRUCTION of the Ballarat Link Road, Stage 1B, is progressing well, with major works on the Ballarat-Ararat Railway overpass recently completed.

Stage 1B will deliver a two-lane road between Remembrance Drive and Liberator Drive, re-alignment of Blind Creek Road, a rail overpass of the Ballarat-Ararat Railway, combined wildlife and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands, traffic lights at the inter section of Remembrance Drive/Dyson Drive and Gregory Street West/Ring Road, shared walking and cycling paths, as well as, associated earthworks, services relocation, drainage, lighting and landscaping.

A key component of the project is the Ballarat- Ararat Railway overpass, which is approximately 27 metres in length (7.1 metres high) and includes: • Provision to accommodate two existing broad- gauge tracks; • Provision for two future standard-gauge tracks; • Provision for Ballarat- Skipton Rail Trail; • Provision for maintenance track; • Compatibility with duplication of the road and future Freight Hub; • Provision for double- stacked container transportation; • A single road carriageway with two 3.5m wide traffic lanes and 2m wide shoulders; • A 3m wide shared user path on the west side of the overpass connecting Liberator Drive (BWEZ) and Ring Road with Avenue of Honour at Dyson Drive, Alfredton; • Traffic barriers to contain traffic on the overpass and to separate traffic from users of the shared user path; and • A pedestrian barrier adjacent to the shared user path.

Major works on the rail overpass, which included successfully lifting six bridge beams each weighing 60 tonnes into place interon 28 October, are now complete.

Stage 1B will also involve the construction of a 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 Ballarat Link Road will ultimately provide a direct link from the Western Highway to the Midland Highway, servicing Ballarat’s growing western suburbs (including BWEZ) and the regional community.

Drainage and utility services relocation works are now underway at the Gregory Street and Ring Road roundabout, as well as a combined wildlife and drainage crossing for Mullawallah Wetlands.

Prior to roadworks commencing, a detailed and comprehensive program of archaeological cultural salvage was successfully undertaken to mitigate harm to the cultural significance of the area.

The City of Ballarat worked 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.

The Victorian 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.

Stage 1B of the Ballarat Link Road Project is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said, “Ballarat Link Road is the long-term viability and success of the Ballarat West Employment Zone and Ballarat’s western growth areas, and its delivery will improve connectivity across our city.

“The Ballarat Link Road forms part of a broader strategic urban plan to provide for Ballarat’s growing population, so it’s important this priority project is invested in.

“We have already lobbied for the duplication of Stage 1 of the Ballarat Link Road between the Western Freeway and Remembrance Drive, as well as the construction of Stage 2 between Remembrance Drive and the Glenelg Highway.

Continuing to advocate for this vital piece of infrastructure is of top most priority.” Quotes attributable to Mark O’Reilly, Construction Manager at Winslow Constructors “Planning for the construction of the Ballarat-Ararat rail overpass began sixmonths- ago, with the six bridge beams installed over a seven-hour period.

It has been a great team effort from Winslow Infrastructure, Quinlan Cranes and the City of Ballarat.”