Wait continues for Shepparton Bypass feasibility report

By Madeleine Byron

Residents will have to wait a bit longer for the completed Wanganui Rd and Ford Rd Shepparton feasibility study design report.

Following the pre-draft consultation in mid-2017, Greater Shepparton City Council, in partnership with Regional Roads Victoria and GTA Consultants prepared the draft in February last year.

Council said considering the length of time since the draft report was prepared, it expected an updated draft report would be considered at a council meeting in early 2020.

Council’s director sustainable development Geraldine Christou said the purpose of the investigation was to detail how the two roads could be upgraded to cater for potential expected increases in traffic volumes.

Ms Christou said the roads would serve as a key east-west future arterial route connecting stage one of the Goulburn Valley Hwy Shepparton Bypass with the Shepparton Alternative Route (Grahamvale Rd).

“Council has worked hard to ensure there would be significant net community benefit for both the immediate local area but also the wider region from any future state government investment in the route,” she said.

The reports released for public comment suggested four alternative alignments should be considered.

Ms Christou said the 123 submissions received envisaged council to consider a final report in late 2018.

“This has included ensuring significant landscaping is realised through this project, that the safety of vehicular traffic, pedestrians and recreational cyclists are safeguarded and improved, and that the predicted noise levels arising from any upgrade could be ameliorated through a number of factors including the use of a low noise emitting road surface,” she said.

At present, RRV and Major Road Projects Victoria are working to complete further planning studies on the wider Shepparton and Mooroopna road network including an updated integrated transport model.

Ms Christou said the work was not expected to be completed until late-2019.

Recognising the need to undertake further studies and reviews would increase the timeframe, Ms Christou said it was a critical stage of the project that would ensure the ultimate design for Ford and Wanganui Roads is fit-for-purpose.