Bells Flat Road Upgrade

  • Project typeRoad upgrade and sealing
  • Project value$490,265 ($300K– Victorian Government Fixing Country Roads Program)
  • Completion Date30 June 2021
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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.

When will this work be happening?

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. 

 

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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