Road changes in pipeline ahead of showgrounds site shift

Multiple entry and exit points are expected to added to Ballarat’s new showgrounds site in Mount Rowan in an effort to avoid bottlenecks at Rose Hill Road. 

Earlier this month the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society officially unveiled it would be leaving its home of more than 60 years on Creswick Road for Federation University’s Mount Rowan campus. 

The site which sits along the Midland Highway currently has a single access point along Rose Hill Road, which is shared by a number of residential properties.

VicRoads has met with the agricultural society to discuss some preliminary access and safety issues at the Mount Rowan site, and will continue working with them as the planning application process continues.

BAPS executive officer Lucy Quartermain said the society was in the process of formulating a master plan for the new 16.2-hectare site, which would include a comprehensive traffic management plan. 

She said members of the BAPS executive had been door-knocking nearby properties to outline details of the development.

“We don’t want a bottleneck, we don’t want to disrupt the neighborhood and we understand their concerns,” Ms Quartermain said.  “We’re very excited by the project but our biggest thing is working with the residents.”

The site purchase comes as the state government continues to roll out its $14.5 million upgrades to the Midland Highway from Heinz Lane in Ballarat to the edge of Creswick. 

Among the safety measures being implemented near the new showgrounds site are improved intersections at Rose Hill and Millers roads, sealing and widening road shoulders and the installation of flexible safety barriers in stretches along the corridor. 

It anticipated a developer contribution from the society will be required for additional roadworks around the site.

In a statement Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said “our focus is getting on with these lifesaving upgrades on the Midland Highway”.