Bells Flat Road Upgrade
- Project typeRoad upgrade and sealing
- Project value$490,265 ($300K– Victorian Government Fixing Country Roads Program)
- Completion Date30 June 2020
About this Project
This project will deliver a sealed roadway with improved safety and amenity for users between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road.
The extent of the seal upgrade in this stage of the project will be determined through the consultation and design process.
Sealing the road will improve safety by providing a more stable surface, reduce dust and improve amenity for residents and users as well as reducing maintenance costs.
This project acknowledges the competing interests from multiple user groups along what is a relatively narrow stretch of rural road. The consultation and design process will consider community priorities, review road speed and produce concept designs for comment.
While complimentary plans are in progress for alternative off road tracks and trails around Yackandandah Creek, Bells Flat Road will still need to cater for a range of user groups and activities.
Why is this project being undertaken?
The expansion of our sealed road network in both urban and rural areas is a strategic objective within the current Council Plan (2.3.6), as are initiatives to improve on-road bicycle safety within our capital works projects (2.3.2).
Bells Flat Road services the urban area and a number of low density rural living properties. It is the main access to the State Forest and Nine Mile Creek Historic Reserve, which is extremely popular for a range of outdoor activities. To accommodate for increased road usage, a high priority of the design will be placed on safety and inclusivity.
What is happening and when?
Initial survey works were undertaken in January 2020 to map the current dimensions, layout and features within the road reserve and allow designers to start assessing the feasibility of certain options and review achievable design speed.
Construction is not anticipated to start until Autumn 2020 following scope refinement, detailed design and receipt of project approvals.
Between December 2019 and early February 2020, we invited community feedback on this project via our website Have Your Say.
We had an excellent response to the survey with 178 respondents.
We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey and provide us with valuable feedback.
Why did we consult?
We wanted to hear from regular users of the road about what was important to them. We will now use the feedback to help inform the design process.
What did we find out?
Of the 178 respondents, 64.61% said they were a resident of Yackandandah, 25.28% live in Bells Flat Road/Tarrant Lane and 12.92% listed a range of other connections with the survey area.
The main reason for using the road was to access property, visit the State Forest and Nine Mile Creek Historic Reserve, visit family and friends or partake in a range of activities such as running, walking, cycling and horse riding.
Most respondents said they use the road weekly (38.20%), multiple times a day (29.21%)or once a day (13.48%) with the remaining answers being only on weekends (7.30%) and occasionally (11.80%).
The overwhelming mode of transport being used on the road is car/ute (82.02%) followed by pushbikes (38.76%) and walking (32.58%). A number of respondents (10.67%) also identified that they were riding horses on this section of road.
When asked to identify the major issues on the stretch of road being surveyed, the majority of respondents said dust (76.27%), speed (65.54%), road surface condition (57.06%), road width (48.59%) and competing uses (44.63%).
Respondents were also invited to provide general feedback, with 85 responses provided covering a range of issues including speed limits, additional signage, safety, line of sight, vegetation and more.
You can download the results here(PDF, 260KB).
What happens next?
The survey results and comments are being reviewed by council’s project team in conjunction with the consultants who’re developing the design concepts.
Many of the survey comments highlighted the need to improve safety for the different user groups on this section of road but also acknowledged some of the associated challenges given the vegetation, steep slopes and narrow width of the road.
The project team is now working towards the development of concepts designs which will be made available for public comment and discussion before progressing to detailed design, project approvals and ultimately construction.