Plans for a new trail along Barwon Heads Road out from Geelong have firmed up as the project to duplicate the arterial goes forward to planning approval.
The project has been in design and development since last year and now that most details have been thrashed out it appears work will start later this year for completion in 2023.
The 4 kilometre trail will run along the eastern side of Barwon Heads Road, between Settlement Road and Crows Road in Belmont, near the South Barwon Reserve, and then at Crows Road the path will cross the intersection to the western side of the road, improving access to residential areas in Marshall.
The path will also extend over the bridge at the railway line at Marshall, and continue to Reserve Road in Charlemont.
Barwon Heads Road has always been an import link for riders, but was effect an old-style two-line urban highway and was never encouraging for use on two wheels.
The new trail—at least three metres wide to cater for riders, runners and walkers—will be safe and attractive to users with provision to cross major intersections and the train tracks at Marshall.
It would be advantageous if the plans also addressed the need for a link from the trail to Marshall Station.
There will be better path connectivity to the Waurn Ponds Trail, the South Barwon Reserve, Belmont Common and the Barwon River Precinct.
And there will be a continuous path from Belmont to Charlemont.
A 1.5 metre shoulder will be provided on the road proper for those more confident riders who take the road option.
The main features of the full $318M project include:
- The duplication of Barwon Heads Road between Settlement Road and Reserve Road to support the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area (ACUGA).
- Grade separation of Melbourne-Warrnambool rail line where it intersects with Barwon Heads Road.
- New shared use path (SUP) along the length of the project.
- Upgrade of Settlement Road and Breakwater Road intersections.
- New traffic lights at Crows, Barwarre, Marshalltown and Reserve Roads intersections.
- New street lighting, road signage and landscaping along the project length.
- New drainage and utility service upgrades and relocations.
The new connections will serve the Armstrong Creek area, Victoria’s sixth largest urban growth area overall, and the fastest growing area outside of Melbourne.
Traffic safety is of critical importance in Geelong. In the past five years, there have been 48 crashes along Barwon Heads Road which resulted in 16 serious injury crashes (VicRoads 2020).
The project will improve safety by providing for safer turning movements, improved shared use paths, improved pavement conditions and safety barriers.
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