Route alignment planning is taking place with the aim to take trucks traveling through Horsham on the Western Highway, Wimmera Highway and Henty Highway out of Horsham’s Central Activity District.
Another traffic bridge across the Wimmera River is one of Council’s key transport priorities, and HRCC committed $100,000 in its 2020-2021 Budget for a route feasibility study. The Commonwealth Government has also contributed $150,000 for Council to work with Regional Roads Victoria to determine if there is a possible location for a truck route and bridge.
Safety and amenity benefits within the Horsham urban area for residents and businesses, providing safer access to the retail/entertainment precinct. Freight efficiency for heavy vehicles currently negotiating multiple traffic lights through central Horsham.
The feasibility study will investigate possible alternative truck routes within and around the existing arterial road network of Horsham.
The study will see Horsham Rural City Council (HRCC) and the Department of Transport (DoT) collaborate with relevant State Government agencies and other stakeholders, including the local Registered Aboriginal Party, to determine a the most appropriate route for redirecting heavy vehicles from Horsham’s CBD of through truck traffic from the Western, Wimmera and Henty Highways.
The feasibility study will need to consider a two-step approach; a high-level review of multiple routes and then a detailed review of these routes to assess their suitability. The first step in this planning project is to undertake an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment.
The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment and Feasibility Study are currently underway.
HRCC has committed $100,000 for this planning work. The Commonwealth Government has also contributed $150,000 for HRCC to work with DoT to determine the location of an alternative truck route. This brings the total funding amount to $250,000.
The proposed alignment for a Horsham bypass didn’t receive adequate support through the Planning Scheme Amendment process from Horsham Rural City Council or the community.
Currently, DoT has no plans to continue the work on a Horsham Bypass. The Horsham Urban Transport Plan outlines specific objectives and benefits which an alternative truck route can better deliver in the short term.
The DoT will refer to data and reports used in the bypass planning study to inform the feasibility study. Additional work will form a key part of the investigations.
We’ll understand more about sensitivities in the study area following the completion of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment and will work closely with the Registered Aboriginal Party to minimise or avoid impacts as part of this work.
Other factors to consider are cost, benefits, impacts, and investigating the key problems impacting these routes including:
Community consultation will form an important part of future detailed planning should funding be provided for the development of the truck route. This project will establish whether an alternative truck route around Horsham is feasible. There is no funding for the further development of this project at this stage.