One of Ballarat’s major road projects is still being kept in the dark months after it was opened.
As the city’s new western bypass, the Ballarat Link Road was opened in April with massive fanfare. But four months on, sections are still without functioning lighting infrastructure, as expensive generators power temporary lighting along sections of the road.
At the roundabout intersecting with Blind Creek Road, the interim lights have been described as ‘blinding’ by angry residents.
City of Ballarat’s director of infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo said there were “no technical issues with the lights”, but the city was waiting on a final Powercor audit before switching on the lights.
“The initial inspection of the site, from the Powercor auditor, required some modifications to civil works in order to meet the relevant standards,” he said.
“...The audit process can only be completed at the end of a project, and as such, the lights could not have been commissioned until the project was completed.”
The municipality said they expect the last audit to be completed in the next two weeks, but a spokeswoman for Powercor said council’s private contractor had not yet asked the power company to attend Link Road for the final review.
At this stage, the council’s private contractor is yet to submit a request to us to conduct a final safety audit.A Powercor spokeswoman
“We will continue to work with the council to get the lights on as quickly as possible,” the spokeswoman said.
A black cloud is also hanging over the cost of the multiple generators and the hire of temporary lighting. Mr Demeo stated the cost was being shared between City of Ballarat and civil contractors, but given “the contractual arrangement with Winslow, City of Ballarat will not be able to disclose this information”.
This isn’t the first time the arterial road has been plagued by lack of lights. In May 2016, The Courier reported the complicated roundabout connecting the Link Road and Learmonth Road was without working lights for weeks.
It was a similar situation to Link Road’s current lighting issues; a delay in Powercor auditing the site in 2016, which the power company said was caused by incorrect paperwork being submitted by the contractor.
The Ballarat Link Road stage two is one of council’s funding priorities in the lead up to the November 24 election. The $80 million project would see the current road be duplicated and connected to the Glenelg Highway.
On August 2, opposition leader Matthew Guy stated he would look to fund the road if elected, but gave no detail on how much he would commit or when it would receive funding.
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