By Lachlan Ellis
Four years after four options for a new road in Bacchus Marsh were proposed, the preferred route has been chosen – though it could be some time before the road is actually built.
The options for the ‘Bacchus Marsh Eastern Link Road’ were first put to the public in May 2019, while the project itself was proposed a year earlier.
Aiming to divert heavy vehicle traffic away from the town centre of Bacchus Marsh, the four options varied from connecting Bences Road to Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road via the Old Western Highway, or instead creating a new road between Gisborne Road and Bences Road heading south.
Three weeks ago, Moorabool Shire Council asked the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) for an update, with the last consultation sessions having been held back in 2020.
And just last week, the DTP did provide an update, with Option B chosen as the preferred route.
“We’ve completed a $3 million planning study to identify a preferred eastern link road alignment in Bacchus Marsh that will improve traffic flow and safety. We’ll now seek direction on what planning pathway is required going forward,” DTP Regional Director for the Grampians Region, Simon Grant, said.
“We’ll continue to consult with key stakeholders to ensure this aligns with other significant projects planned for Bacchus Marsh.”
The Option B route is approximately 11 kilometres in length, and would begin at an upgraded Gisborne Road/Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road intersection, intersecting with the Western Freeway at a new central interchange, approximately midway between the Gisborne Road interchange and Bacchus Marsh Road.
A total of 55 private landowners would be impacted, but no landowners would lose their homes.
In a statement last Monday, Council said it would “review the information released by DTP to gain a full understanding of the implications, including community impacts, traffic congestion and future development outcomes”.
Planning Minister Sonya Kilkenny was contacted for comment, but did not respond by the deadline.
For more information and to view the planning documents online, visit regionalroads.vic.gov.au and search ‘Bacchus Marsh Eastern Link Road’.