Bells Flat Road seal extension

  • Project typeRoad upgrade and sealing
  • Project value$928,479 ($426,498 Australian Government – Local Roads & Infrastructure Program) ($311,661 Victorian Government – Fixing Country Roads Program) ($190,320 Indigo Shire Council)
  • Project scheduleBehind schedule
  • Completion Date31 October 2022
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About this Project

This project will deliver a sealed roadway between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road. 

Sealing the road will improve safety by providing a wider, more stable surface, with reduced dust and greater 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 considered community priorities and will include a formal review of the posted road speed limit with the state road authority.

Following the allocation of additional Australian Government funding at the December 2021 Council meeting, the project is now fully funded which will allow completion of the road to a sealed standard between the two intersections above. 

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 has been placed on safety and inclusivity.

Progress Updates

June 2022 Update

Ongoing wet weather and COVID related resourcing issues means we are now behind schedule with a revised completion date of late October.

Some breaks in the weather means we've been able to put down additional road base and prepare for more new sections of kerb and gutter.

We will continue to make progress when opportunities permits and  ask that road users continue to take care when travelling through this worksite and drive to the conditions and 40km/hr speed limit.  

 

 

May 2022 Update

Our graders moved to Bells Flat Road, Yackandandah this week to progress the upgrade project to the next stage of reshaping the road and bringing in new road base material.

This week also saw the introduction of daily road closures on various sections of the road between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road to progress these works over the coming weeks.

These temporary closures during normal working hours allow our construction equipment to more safely and efficiently work across the full width of the road.

While access for residents will be maintained, road users seeking through access are asked to seek the alternate route via Kirby’s Flat Rd when asked to do so.

 

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April 29 2022 Update

Commencing next week, we'll be introducing some daily road closures on various sections of the road to progress the road construction works.

Short sections of the road, between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road, will be temporarily closed during normal working hours only to allow construction equipment to more safely and efficiently work across the full width of the road.

These planned closures will continue for several weeks, so anyone requiring access during this period should seek the alternate route via Kirby’s Flat Rd when asked to do so.

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April 2022 Update

Works are progressing well with another two short sections of Kerb and Channel constructed this week.

The newly installed sections of kerb are being used within the overall design to help manage stormwater run off and widen the road where needed. Earthworks to widen the road formation will continue ahead of some other key sections of Kerb before the road surface improvements can be completed.

The road is considered a work site and as always we ask that drivers adhere to speed limits and warning signs for both the safety of other road users and works crew members safety.

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February 2022 Update

Council staff have been busy at work on the Bells Flat Road seal extension project over the last month, progressing many of the important drainage improvements and earthworks stages necessary to ultimately widen and improve the road.

The first of a number of short sections of kerb and channel were poured this week around the Tarrant Lane intersection which will help manage stormwater and reduce erosion at this steep intersection. We continue to progress towards Yackandandah with earthworks to widen the road before other sections of kerb are poured in preparation for upgrade works to the road pavement before sealing.

In the upcoming weeks we may need to undertake road closures on short sections of Bells Flat Road during business hours to enable works on the actual traffic lanes to be completed more safely and efficiently. During this time we ask that road users find alternative routes such as Kirbys Flat Road to access the far end of Bells Flat Road. As always we appreciate your understanding and adherence to traffic control while we complete this major upgrade project. 

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January 22 Update

Council has now commenced the upgrade of the 1.7Km section of Bells Flat Road from the end of the current sealed section at McIntosh Lane through to Service Basin Road. The design includes a 6.0m wide sealed road surface with a 1.5-2.0m wide shoulder on the left hand side, heading away from town as a shared use space for other users.

The works will involve increasing the depth and width of gravel pavements, culvert extensions, underground drainage, embankment cut and fill, installation of short lengths of kerb and channel before application of a bitumen seal. 

 

December 2021 Update

Bells Flat Road Drainage Improvements

Works will commence on Bells Flat Road in the second week of December, to upgrade and extend drainage culverts, starting near the intersection with McIntosh Lane. The upgrades at six locations between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road will ultimately provide increased road width and are a key first stage of the seal extension project.

While we always aim to minimise disruption there will be some unavoidable minor delays as we close one traffic lane from time to time. Please be mindful of traffic control your safety and that of our workers.

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June 2021 Update

Council have now awarded a contract to complete the tree removal and clearance pruning works necessary ahead of works on Bells Flat Road Seal Extension Project. Our contractor is scheduled to commence the works around Tuesday 15th of June and take around 1 – 2 weeks to complete them. Unfavourable weather or equipment failure delays are an ever present risk but at this stage we do not anticipate any major changes to this schedule. Either side of these works you may also notice Council staff carrying out other minor pruning works and roadside weed control.

The road will remain open to traffic during these works, but inevitably during critical times delays of up to 15 minutes may be experienced. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this first step towards improving the overall formation of Bells Flat Road. Works are contained to the section of road between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road and will move along the road in short isolated sections. Alternative routes such as Kirbys Flat Road may be suitable at certain times to avoid delays. We look forward to being able to provide more updates soon on the continued delivery of this project as we seek tenders for construction shortly. 

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April 2021 Update

Since our last update Council officers and locally based consultants have been working closely with representatives from the Victorian governments environmental department (DELWP) and Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV) to review and refine the proposed seal extension project on Bells Flat Road.

As previously communicated our aim is to ultimately deliver a 6m wide sealed road surface between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road with a 1.5-2.0m wide gravel shoulder on its left hand side, heading away from town, to more safely accommodate a range of road users. To achieve these improvements in road width and alignment along the majority of the road, the project team has identified, and now marked out on site, a select number of individual trees and patches of native and non-native vegetation for removal.

We do not propose the removal of vegetation lightly but are planning the minimum amount necessary to achieve some notable improvements on this section of Bells Flat Road.

While this project has designed, and obtained necessary approvals, for an upgrade on the 1.7km section of Bells Flat Road between McIntosh Lane and Service Basin Road, the extent of road construction work was always to be determined by the available budget.

We will soon action the proposed removal of vegetation along the extent of the project area and develop a program of works with a successful construction contractor, following a tender process in April/May, to prioritise sections of road for improvement in line with the available budget.

A number of survey respondents and residents have also strongly expressed their desire, especially with the proposed sealing of the road, to see a more formal speed limit applied. Proposed improvements to this section of road would further benefit from a defined speed limit. Council will be submitting a formal application to the state road authority to have the posted speed limit reviewed on this section of Bells Flat Road based on the proposed geometry and increasing variety of road users. We will provide more information once this application is progressed. 

Further updates regarding works and any traffic impacts will be provided in due course. 

 

  

What will be the impact of these works?

Council crews will aim to minimise disruption and delays for residents and road users during the works. However, there will be times where short, one lane or even full width, sections of the road will need to be closed during working hours to allow safe and efficient delivery.

We ask that users take note of traffic control advisory signage and perhaps at certain times, seek alternative routes such as Kirbys Flat Rd, if suitable, to avoid delays.

  

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