Warragul CBD Streetscape Project - Community Information

What is the main aim of the project?

The Warragul CBD Streetscape project is designed to help our town cope with a growing population and the increased traffic that comes with it.

All nine stages of works are designed to better manage and redirect traffic within the confines of our existing roads and make the CBD experience safer, more inviting and more accessible for pedestrians.

We’re also creating more access points in, around and out of the CBD area (via planned traffic lights at Queen/Napier Street and the new Mason Street roundabouts) to ease pressure on existing access points such as the Queen Street roundabout.

For those who can’t get around as easily, we’ve increased the number of accessible (disabled) parking spaces to allow parking close by, and also made crossing points more accessible too.

Why make streets one-way?

As Warragul’s population grows, there is more traffic but no more space in the CBD area. Part of the streetscape project is aimed at better managing and redirecting the increased traffic for safety and practicality.

The one-way streets aim to make the heart of Warragul more pedestrian-friendly. There are two main benefits – improved safety and amenity. One-way traffic flow is more predictable making it safer and easier for pedestrians to navigate the town on foot.

This arrangement also encourages drivers crossing from one side of town to the other to use the outskirts of the CBD (such as Mason Street), rather than through the busy CBD space.

Why is Palmerston Street directing traffic East and not West?

The arrangement is designed to act as a giant roundabout, creating more efficient traffic flow through CBD intersections. Traffic from Palmerston Street will naturally flow into Smith Street, so that traffic can exit the CBD area through a safe and controlled intersection.

Sending traffic in the other direction would decrease the efficiency of vehicle movement through the intersection of Smith Street and Victoria Street.

People travelling north would have to wait for all south bound traffic on Victoria Street to clear, causing traffic to bank up at the Queen Street roundabout.

What other benefits does the project deliver?

Beautification works:

  • New and wider footpaths evoking a mall-like atmosphere which is more pleasant for browsing and outdoor dining.
  • New coloured and patterned pavements restore rural character to the town and complement the existing heritage.
  • Integrated bench seating and improved pedestrian access to the Cenotaph creates a village feel.
  • Enhancing sustainability and natural beauty with the planting of fresh new trees and gardens.

Practical improvements:

  • Smooth new road surfaces.
  • Drainage improvements to better cater for storm events.

Improving accessibility:

  • Safer and more accessible crossing points.
  • More accessible parking spaces.

What about a multilevel carpark?

We understand parking close by can be tricky, especially during peak times.

Options for a multilevel carpark in the CBD have been explored, however it’s not currently a viable option. A project of this scale is estimated to cost $25 million in construction, and even more in ongoing maintenance.

A recent parking study provided us with findings and recommendations to help improve efficiency of parking in the Warragul CBD. While a number of these recommendations are straight forward, others will require further consultation with the community. More details about this consultation opportunity will be released soon.

Why can’t you develop the former Bonlac site?

We understand the strategic importance of this site, however this site is privately owned. In order for the site to be developed, a planning application would need to be submitted to Council for consideration by the land owner. There is currently no planning application lodged with Council for the development of this site.

What's happens next?

 

Smith Street Works

Smith Street works include one-way traffic conversion (south bound from Palmerston to Queen St), road and footpath widening, safer and accessible pedestrian crossing points and improved drainage. New trees will be planted as well as other landscaping and garden beds. These works will begin in March.

Unlike previous phases of the project, works on Smith Street will take place both day and night so they’ll be completed quicker and with less disruption to shoppers and retailers. Major disruptive works will be conducted at night when the road is closed to vehicles and pedestrians.

Retailers and businesses have been closely consulted throughout project planning and will continue to be consulted during construction.

Access to footpaths and shops will be maintained.

Queen/Napier Street Traffic Lights

New traffic lighs will be installed at the intersection of Queen and Napier Street. These works are set to begin the week of 13 May.

Works will be relatively low-impact involving concreting, new kerb construction and line marking.

Once complete, these traffic lights will make a huge positive difference to traffic flows by improving alternative access in and out of the CBD area, and making it safe and easy for drivers to bypass the Queen Street roundabout.


Community consultation

Several consultation opportunities occurred during the initial planning and design phase in 2015/16. 

A Project Reference Group (PRG) was formed consisting of local traders, business groups, service/utility companies, taxi and emergency services. The PRG met regularly for a period throughout the initial planning and design stage.  The next PRG meeting will be held in February.

Council officers and Councillors will be available to answer any questions by residents and community members each Friday during February, prior to the commencement of Smith Street works. Please check our website for further details or the Gazette and The Trader newspaper for times. The location will be at the Palmerston/Smith Street Kiosk.


Contact us

We’re here to help! For more information please contact Council by email or on 5624 2411 or by email.