Alternative heavy vehicle route and second river crossing

Truck On Bridge

Alternative truck route

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.

Second River Crossing

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.

Benefit

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a feasibility study being done?

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 study is expected to commence in April 2022 when the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment gets underway.

Following completion of this desktop assessment, the feasibility study will start.

How is this work being funded?

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.

What happened to planning for a Horsham bypass?

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.

Will any data from Horsham bypass be used to inform this feasibility study?

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. 

What cultural sensitivities are there in the area?

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.

What other impacts will be considered as part of this study?

Other factors to consider are cost, benefits, impacts, and investigating the key problems impacting these routes including:

  • Access and connections to industrial areas.
  • Connection to arterial roads (Western, Wimmera and Henty Highways)
  • Connection to Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal (intermodal aspect)
  • Assessment of floodplains along Wimmera River and impacts on potential crossings
  • Impacts on sensitive receptors such as residential areas
  • Impact on community groups and services
  • Impact on public use space and key assets for community including paths, river and open areas
  • Environmental and cultural heritage (historic and aboriginal) impacts, including but not limited to the sensitivity of culturally significant land
  • Service implications (electricity, telecommunications, water, gas etc.)
  • Urban growth plans, structure plans, masterplans for Council
How can the community be involved in deciding where an alternative truck route should go?

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.