Council, in collaboration with VicRoads, is undertaking a study into the possible upgrade of Ford Road to serve as a critical link between the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Shepparton Alternate Route (Grahamvale Road and Doyles Road).
The Ford Road and Wanganui Road Investigation Study seeks to explore the options and constraints to upgrading Ford and Wanganui Roads to serve as the direct link connecting Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass to the Shepparton Alternate Route (Grahamvale Road and Doyles Road). This study is nearing completion.
Council adopted the staged approach to delivering the Bypass at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 17 May 2016. In 2006, Amendment C33 to the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme applied a Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) to the land identified for the preferred Bypass alignment. VicRoads has since acquired various land holdings along the route.
Council is delighted that the Victorian Government has allocated $10.2million in funding to take forward design and early works for Stage 1 of the Bypass – this is excellent news for Shepparton and Mooroopna.
When Stage 1 of the Bypass is constructed, Ford Road and Wanganui Road will become a key direct link connecting Stage 1 of the Shepparton Bypass / Goulburn Valley Highway and the Shepparton Alternate Route (Grahamvale Road and Doyles Road) for traffic moving west-east and west-south.
Ford Road and Wanganui Roads were identified in the Greater Shepparton Freight and Land Use Study as the best option to realise a direct connection between the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Shepparton Alternate Route. This Strategy was adopted by Council in 2013. However, the idea has a long history, and a proposal to use Wanganui Road and Ford Road as such a direct connection was included in the Greater Shepparton 2030 Strategy Plan in 2006.
Greater Shepparton City Council and VicRoads have engaged GTA Consultants Pty Ltd to undertake an investigation of the options and constraints for upgrading Ford Road and Wanganui Road as part of the preparation work for the Shepparton Bypass.
Council is aware that Ford Road has many residential properties along the route and that these plans are likely to have some level of impact on residents.
Council wrote to 700 land owners and occupiers of land along Ford Road and neighbouring streets on 4 April 2017 inviting interested parties to attend drop-in sessions on 19 April. 30 people attended and provided comments from Linda Court, Rosina Court, Matilda Drive, Jersey Crescent, Ryeland Drive, Holstein Court, Ayrshire Way, Ann Wood Nook, Botany Crescent and Mootwingee Crescent.
A similar exercise was undertaken for Wanganui Road in May 2017 and a drop-in session held on 7 June.
There are no firm plans or designs for Ford Road or Wanganui Road and there is no confirmed timescale yet for this work. While the principle of the use of Ford Road and Wanganui Road as the direct connection between the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Shepparton Alternate Route has been established in Council and VicRoads’ policy for some time now, the detail of how these roads will be designed to cater for increases in car and heavy vehicle use is now the subject of the investigative work. Council is keen to understand the design constraints and the issues the upgrade will raise for local residents and businesses, with the intention that any adverse impacts will be addressed through the detailed design stage.
Council is exploring the constraints and is keen to understand the possible impact on residents so mitigation can be designed in to the proposals. Council has also commissioned a noise study which will inform the design.
Council will consider the results of the investigation and recommended design at an ordinary council meeting to be held later in 2017 before releasing the report for public consultation.
Council would welcome representations in writing on any issues raised by the planned upgrade of both Ford Road and Wanganui Road.