The Australian Government has allocated $6.2 million towards the planning of both the Bagdad Bypass and Bridgewater Bridge Replacement projects. Whilst construction funding is yet to be allocated for these two projects, planning work is currently underway to determine future funding requirements and to obtain the relevant planning and environmental approvals.
In July 2010 the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) held a public display for the Bagdad Bypass project at the Bagdad Community Club. At the display two potential alignments for the Bypass were presented
- Alignment 1 - located predominantly within the existing bypass corridor within the Southern Midlands Council Planning Scheme with the exception of Constitution Hill where it has been necessary to divert around the western side of Dysart to avoid an area of potential land instability; and
- Alignment 2 - located to the west of Alignment 1 between Ballyhooly Road and Winstead Road, sharing a common section with Alignment 1 in the vicinity of Winstead Road and then again diverting to the west of the Alignment 1 from north of Winstead Road through to Constitution Hill.
The public display provided an opportunity for people interested in the project to provide feedback on their preferred alignment and to comment on potential options for connectivity to the Bypass at Pontville.
In addition to the feedback provided at the display, DIER has been assessing the two alternative alignment options in terms of:
- Transport efficiency
- Road safety
- Noise impacts
- Visual amenity
- Flora & fauna impacts
- Historic heritage impacts
- Aboriginal heritage impacts
- Impact on agricultural land
- Geotechnical constraints; and
- Construction cost.
This assessment had led to DIER adopting a preferred alignment for the Bagdad Bypass which is a combination of Alignments 1 & 2. The selected alignment for the Bypass is shown on the aerial photograph accompained by photographic representations of the Bypass at locations along its lenght.
The Proposed WorksThe total length of the Bypass is approximately 16 kilometres.
The main features of the Bypass include:
- A two-lane roadway with overtaking and climbing lanes in key locations;
- Earthworks to facilitate future duplication of the Bypass;
- A southbound on ramp at Rifle Range Road;
- Bridges over Shene Road, Ballyhooly Road, Chauncy Vale Road and the exisiting Midland Highway; and
- A grade separated interchange at Clifton Vale Road with on and off ramps.
The BenefitsConstruction of the Bypass is expected to provide the following benefits:
- Reduced traffic volumes on the existing Midland Highway, improving safety, accessibility and amenity;
- Reduced travel times for vehicles on the Midland Highway; and
- The creation of future development opportunities in Bagdad to support community needs.
Non-invasive Historic heritage and Aboriginal heritage surveys for the Bypass were completed in September 2010. It is intended that further heritage investigations be undertaken during the coming months subject to obtaining the required approvals.
A spring survey for flora and fauna investigations was undertaken in late September 2010. A summer survey is scheduled to be undertaken in December 2010.
Detailed noise modelling for estimated current and future traffic has been undertaken. Sound reduction measures will be incorporated into the Bypass design, where necessary, to minimise impacts.