Horsham Rural City Council has moved a step closer to having both additional vehicle and pedestrian river crossings after recent funding milestones for the respective projects.
The Commonwealth Government last week announced $100,000 in funding for Council and Regional Roads Victoria to plan for a second river crossing as part of an alternative truck route.
Another traffic bridge across the Wimmera River is one of Council’s key transport priorities, and HRCC committed $100,000 in its 2020-2021 Budget for design work.
Meanwhile Council at this week’s May meeting resolved to adopt a plan to fund the Hamilton Street Pedestrian Bridge using a combination of Commonwealth and Victorian Government money.
It means the pedestrian bridge can move to the tendering stage, with $1.1 million to be used from an existing federal government grant via the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.
HRCC will also apply for $1.25 million from Regional Development Victoria (RDV).
Mayor Robyn Gulline said having both additional vehicle and pedestrian bridges was the ideal outcome for Horsham.
A draft concept of the pedestrian bridge.
“Council has recognised that a second road bridge has been an emerging need for a number of years. We know that many trucks directly service the CBD. But there are many more which arrive via all three highways but don’t need to be in the centre of town,” Cr Gulline said.
“On the other hand, the pedestrian bridge will offer an alternative to car-based commuting and will also create an additional circuit for cyclists and pedestrians exercising along the river.
“Horsham does not need to choose between a pedestrian and road bridge, we can achieve both,” she said.
Cr Gulline said the location for the truck route and bridge would be determined during the next stage of planning work.
“There are several locations being considered for the second road bridge and alternative truck route. The one place we know it won’t be appropriate is in the vicinity of the residential area of Waterlink Estate (opposite Hamilton Street), so having a pedestrian bridge there will not jeopardise plans for another vehicle crossing,” she said.
“We thank the Federal Government for its contribution and look forward to working with Regional Roads Victoria to develop a solution that will give us another vehicle bridge and remove trucks which don’t originate or terminate in the CBD from central Horsham and the river precinct.”
Background planning has identified that at least 800 houses, and 2000 people would directly benefit from a pedestrian bridge connecting Hamilton Street and the Waterlink Estate.
“The pedestrian bridge will be much less costly than a vehicle bridge, and hence can be planned and funded more quickly,” Cr Gulline said.