Road link options on the table

By Ewen McRae

An update on the proposed Bacchus Marsh Eastern Link Road has been released, with several options on the table to ease congestion around the town.

Regional Roads Victoria is undertaking a planning study into the Eastern Link Road, which will connect Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road and Gisborne Road by diverting traffic around the town.

Public consultation sessions were held in May, with concern over impacts to the Avenue of Honour, wildlife, and agriculture among the issues raised.

Four plans are under consideration, two of which also had impacts on a proposed development in Merrimu.

Three of the four options would cross the historic Avenue of Honour, while the only option that does not impact the Avenue would result in a longer road and is considered to have the most impact on the local environment.

More than 230 people attended the community information sessions and Regional Roads Victoria is currently assessing more than 700 pieces of community feedback to find a preferred route.

According to the Regional Roads Victoria study, the population of Bacchus Marsh and Maddingley is expected to double by 2041.

“Studies have demonstrated that an eastern link road will divert heavy vehicles and through traffic away from the Bacchus Marsh town centre,” it stated.

“The congestion during peak periods in Bacchus Marsh has resulted in a heavy reliance on Gisborne Road/Grant Street to provide north-south access to the Western Freeway.

“An eastern link road will also provide an alternative north-south arterial road connection to Gisborne Road/Grant Street.”

There is no funding commitment for the Eastern Link Road, but a preferred route is expected to be presented by February 2020.