Construction of the Goulburn Valley Highway Shepparton Bypass (Shepparton Bypass) is the next logical step in providing a fully duplicated highway from Shepparton to Melbourne. The full 36km four lane Shepparton Bypass is estimated to cost just over $1.3 billion.
In order to make the investment affordable, Greater Shepparton City Council approved a five stage proposal to realise the Shepparton Bypass at its Ordinary Council Meeting held in May 2016. The current priority is Stage 1 – a single lane carriageway in each direction extending from the Midland Highway west of Mooroopna to the Goulburn Valley Highway in Shepparton North – a total distance of 10.05kms.
Two reports were commissioned to determine the economic benefits of the construction of Stage 1. The reports concluded the following economic benefits will be generated by the construction of this section of the Shepparton Bypass:
Increase in national and regional economic output by $590 million during the construction phase.
Creation of 3,170 additional regional and national jobs during the construction phase.
Revitalisation of the Shepparton CBD and leveraged investment such as an estimated 225 new ongoing CBD jobs created and a further 180 jobs supported indirectly in the regional economy.
Deliver badly needed road safety benefits to Mooroopna and Shepparton by removing freight and through traffic from the CBDs.
Road User Cost Benefit Ratio of 0.37 over 25 years.
The 2017/18 State Budget allocates $10.2 million over three years to undertake preparatory works and land acquisition, which is a very welcome investment.
The total projected cost of Stage 1 is estimated to be $260 million, including all preparatory works, land acquisition and construction, and it is hoped that commitment to deliver the full Stage 1 will be given in advance of the 2018 State Government elections.
Ford Road will also serve as a critical link between the Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass / Goulburn Valley Highway and the Shepparton Alternate Route (Grahamvale Road and Doyles Road). Funding is also required to complete this link.