The long-term idea of a freeway to the South Australian border took a small step this week with another increment in the planning of the Ararat bypass
VicRoads will monitor noise levels in Ararat as part of planning work for the proposed Western Highway bypass of the city.
The authority has this week installed devices known as noise loggers at four locations in Ararat, which will remain in place until August 27.
The monitors will help VicRoads understand the traffic volume in the city centre and the subsequent expected reduction in noise if heavy vehicles were removed from the city.
The authority unveiled a draft bypass route option and interchange concept designs in July last year. Community feedback and specialist investigations led to some changes to the route in March.
The proposed route bypasses Ararat to the north-east.
VicRoads western region director Mal Kersting said the noise monitoring was part of continuing work to identify a preferred bypass alignment.
“As a part of this process, we've completed a number of studies, assessments and design reviews in order to identify an outcome that meets our standards and the expectations of the Ararat community,” he said.
Mr Kersting said the device locations were strategically chosen to provide a comprehensive understanding of noise levels throughout the city.
He said the devices monitored noise volume and frequency rather than conversations or individual sounds.
“This data will help to understand the current levels of heavy vehicle traffic passing through Ararat and, in conjunction with our transport modelling, will allow us to predict the reduction in noise within the township after the bypass is constructed,” he said.
“This is another small step towards developing a full-scale plan for the proposed Ararat bypass.”
Among the other planning work for the bypass this year includes hydrology modelling to understand flooding issues, and cultural heritage investigations.
VicRoads aims to prepare a final bypass route option before the end of the year.
Once this is complete, the authority will share its findings through a community information session.
The state government announced in April it would include $98 million in its 2018-19 budget for planning and pre-construction work for the Ararat bypass and a bypass at Beaufort.
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