The State Government is pushing ahead with its controversial plans for a $7 million upgrade of Mair Street with works to start within two months.
The plans include dual lanes from Dawson St North to Armstrong Street and then from Davies to Humffray St and have been on the drawing board since City of Ballarat Council originally released plans in 2010.
It’s aim is to unclog one of Ballarat’s worst CBD choke points which see 15,000 vehicles daily.
New details show upgrades to intersections at Doveton, Armstrong, Peel and Humffray streets, new turning lanes, line marking and better traffic light flow, and new traffic lights at the Dawson and Mair street intersection.
But the contentious issue of parking remains, with the State Government confirming the upgrade will see the loss of 69 car parks, including median parking near Lydiard Street.
The Courier understands that up to 100 car parks are expected to be lost over the entire project.
These losses will be offset by 20 new off-street parking spaces at a disused car yard, while the State Government continues to work with council over filling the remaining losses.
Construction during stage one is expected to start within two months, with completion expected by Christmas.
VicRoads will work with the City of Ballarat and traders to identify how it can minimise the impacts of construction.
Stage two which could include the removal of the Grenville Street roundabout has yet to have funding allocated.
The State Government announcement comes as a eleventh-hour bid to withdraw council support for the plan and force VicRoads to undergo more consultation was defeated six votes to two on Wednesday night.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said there had been six crashes resulting in serious injury along Mair St in the five years to December 2017 and a further 28 resulting in minor injuries.
“While some people want to play politics with this project, this is about safety – there have been far too many crashes and too many injuries on Mair Street.”
Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said she was thrilled the talking was over and work would be done.
“The Mair Street upgrade has been talked about for years and now we’re getting on with the job of reducing congestion and improving safety on this vital local connection,” Ms Knight said
“Local traders and the wider community have shared their thoughts on Mair Street over a number of years.”