Funding confirmed for Halletts Way works

Construction on the long-awaited east-facing ramps and shared pedestrian path along Halletts Way is expected to start later this year with the state and federal governments having committed $12.8 million to the project.

The works, which have been stalled for several years, are part of a $38 million Bacchus Marsh Traffic Improvement project.

Last week, state and federal MPs convened in Bacchus Marsh to announce the funding package, with the state government committing $2.56 million and the feds $10.24 million.

The funding has been a long time coming for Moorabool council and Bacchus Marsh residents, who have had issues with traffic congestion and safety along Halletts Way.

Council chief executive Rob Croxford thanked the governments for the funding.

He said he had witnessed safety problems at Halletts Way on a daily basis.

“There are mums with their prams, a guy with his dog and a bloke on his bike, and then a bus comes up and takes up one-and-a-quarter lanes,” Mr Croxford said.

Victorian Senator Michael Ronaldson, representing the federal government, wouldn’t be drawn on why it had taken so long for funding to be freed up, instead insisting “we look toward to the future”.

He said Bacchus Marsh, which had been just a town “on the road to Ballarat”, had changed dramatically.

“This is now a vibrant, stand-alone economy that relies on no one but itself,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“And that’s why this project is so important … it will assist with the economic development of Bacchus Marsh.”

State Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan said expressions of interest for the project would be called for next month, with construction expected to be finished by late- 2018.

“It’s been a long road … I know how important it is for this community to be able to access the highway and have a pedestrian access,” he said.

“This is what keeps a community sane – the ability to get around, take your kid to school and be able to pick them up in the afternoon.”