A BRIDGE or causeway across Lake Colac is again on the agenda as a possible Colac truck bypass.
Colac Otway Shire Council has released a list of 10 options for an alternative heavy vehicle route and highlighted five of the “more feasible” routes.
The five routes are across Lake Colac, north of the lake, south of Colac through Irrewillipe Road, further south to Skinners Road, and a route through Wilson Street.
A community reference group met on Tuesday to narrow the 10 options to four, but they decided to wait two weeks to give the community a chance to have a say.
The lake route would connect to the Princes Highway from Deans Creek Road in the west to Triggs Road in the east, with a causeway or bridge across the lake.
Residents with lake views have had mixed reactions to the potential route.
Gwenyth Knox said she was “absolutely against” the idea because of noise pollution and the lake’s birdlife.
Ms Knox said she was surprised the council was still considering a lake route, six years after a Colac structure plan raised the idea.
“Our lake’s a focal point for lots of things, not just for people living here but for tourists,” Ms Knox said.
“It’s one of our leading assets and must be preserved as it is,” she said.
“I’m very much for leaving nature as it is.”
Ms Knox’s neighbour Noel Cuolahan said a bridge across Lake Colac would be “tremendous”, but truck noises could be a concern.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money,” Mr Cuolahan said.
“I can’t really see it happening though, but it wouldn’t really worry me either way,” he said.
Colac Area Health chief and Balnagowan Avenue resident Geoff Iles
said he would be disappointed if the council decided on a route across the iconic lake.
“We need to be reminded from time to time that it is actually iconic and we should look after it,” he said.
But Mr Iles said he supported the council’s efforts to find an alternate route because it would help plans to beautify Colac’s central business district.
“The other reason why I’d welcome it from a public health perspective – the level of debris that comes from traffic that must be impacting on our businesspeople along Murray Street,” he said.
Mayor Stephen Hart thanked the community reference group its work during an “incredibly detailed process”.
“There will always be people who are unhappy about the suggested routes.
“However, we have a duplicated Princes Highway coming our way and the time has come when we must draw some lines on the map.”
Ten options for heavy vehicle route
TWO Colac streets have emerged as possible short-term options for a Colac truck route.
The top option is a Wilson Street route using Armstrong Street, following Wilson, Forest and Baillie streets, and reconnecting to the highway at a service station corner in east Colac.
The route could also use Corangamite Street and the east end of Wilson Street.
A Pollack Street route would go along Armstrong, Ligar, Pollack and Queen streets.
The two short-term options are among 10 routes Colac Otway Shire Council released yesterday, after work by a consultant and a community reference group.
The eight other routes are:
- A railway reserve route connecting to Forest Street, which would need construction between Colac-Ballarat Road and a railway corridor.
- A route north of Lake Colac connecting to the Princes Highway at Larpent Road, and west of Aireys Reserve Road. This route would consist mostly of new road.
- A bridge or causeway across the lake connecting from Deans Creek Road to Triggs Road.
- A route connecting to the highway near Rossmoyne Road via a new section of road. The route would use Deans Creek Road, Aireys Street, Forest Street, Colac-Forest Road and Drapers Road.
- A route from Larpent Road to Forest Street, using Larpent Road, Monkton Estate Road, Skinners Road, Forans Road, Shurvells Road and Shorts Road.
- A route connecting to the highway at Corangamite Lake Road and Drapers Road, building a new road to link from Irrewillipe Road to Drapers Road.
- A new road connecting the highway to Larpent Road, using Irrewillipe Road, and a new road through to Collins Road.
- A route from Swan Marsh Road to Warncoort-Birregurra Road. A new carriageway would stretch south to the intersection of Skinners and Irrewillipe roads.