Has Council decided to proceed with the upgrade of Station Street?

On 14 February 2018 Council resolved to proceed to tender for construction of the Station Street Upgrade. Watch the debate and decision made by Councillors below.Video courtesy of Southern Highland News.


Why is the upgrade of Station Street needed?

The project was identified as part of the Bowral Parking, Traffic and Transport Strategy, which identified the need for the Station Street upgrade (Bowral Distributor Road).

The upgrade was identified to provide future traffic capacity for the Bowral town centre. The capacity on the road may not necessarily be required now, but the funding has become available now for Council to develop the project.

The images below show some recent examples of peak period traffic. Not everyone experiences these delays as it depends on when they visit the Bowral town centre.

  


What will the upgrade of Station Street involve?

Station Street upgrade will involve two stages. Funding is available to develop the detailed design for both stages but only allows for construction of stage 1. Funding for stage 2 is yet to be secured.

Stage 1: Station Street between Bundaroo Street and Bowral Street, including associated works on Kirkham Road (design and construct)

Concept design and proposed works for stage 1 include:

  • Two lane roundabout linking Bong Bong, Station and Bundaroo streets to replace the existing traffic lights. Permits right turns from Bundaroo Street. This will allow traffic to utilised Bendooley Street to travel north rather than coming into Bong Bong Street, which in turn will reduce traffic in the main street.
  • Four lanes (two lanes in each direction) between Bong Bong and Bowral streets with a new alignment in some sections. Provides capacity for future traffic increases in the town centre.
  • New signalised intersection to replace the roundabout at Boolwey Street. Improves pedestrian access in this vicinity.
  • Alterations to the roundabout at Bowral Street. Will provide improved sight distance from Bowral Street to the north.
  • New parking adjacent to Memorial Park and between Boolwey and Bowral streets. Relocates car parking to the town side of the busy Station Street to reduce potential conflicts with pedestrians to improve safety.
  • New service road to improve access to businesses, such as the Woolworths Service Station.
  • New traffic arrangements for entry and exit to the Bowral Railway Station. Removes buses from the Station car park to a new bus bay to the north of the Station.

Kirkham Road

  • New parking arrangement near the Bowral Railway Station. Increases the number of spaces in this area directly adjacent to the Station.
  • New parking arrangement with shared path to link with Wingecarribee Street bridge and Bowral Street railway level crossing. Providing improved parking facilities in this area to provide untimed parking and free up town centre parking spaces for shopping.
Stage 2: Extension of Station Street between Bowral Street and Golf Links Road via Railway Parade (design only - funding yet to be acquired for construction)

Concept design includes:

  • Two lanes (one lane in each direction) between Bowral Street and Golf Links Road (via Railway Parade with a new alignment). Providing an alternate route to get into and out of the town centre.
  • New roundabout at Moss Vale Road and Links Road to improve safety for turning vehicles. Roundabout will also help reduce traffic speeds along Moss Vale Road near residential properties.
  • Designs developed to cater for future traffic increases. Part of providing future traffic capacity for the future of Bowral.

How can I have my say about it all?

If you are concerned about the potential impact on your property or business please contact Wingecarribee Shire Council by calling (02) 4868 0888 or email mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au.

An opportunity to make a submission about the detailed concept plan was provided in August and September 2017 with an extension allowed until 3 October 2017. During the exhibition period the detailed concept designs which are quite large were displayed at the Bowral Library, Civic Centre or a shopfront at 31A Station Street in Bowral. Large scale copies of the plan, artist’s impressions, aerial photo overlays and fact sheets were displayed and also provided at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SSU

Council also hosted a public meeting on 20 September 2017.

I have some questions, how can I learn more and obtain some answers?

Take a look in the library and view detailed designs, fact sheets, animated videos and more.

You can view our responses to questions already asked here or add one of your own using the online question tool, email engagement@wsc.nsw.gov.au or call 02 4868 0888.

What is the timeline for the work?

Development of the Station Street upgrade detailed design will be undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and the community in 2016 and 2017. Construction timeframes are yet to be announced.

What is the current cost estimate and how will this be funded?

Council was successful in obtaining a $7.5 million grant from the State Government for this particular project from the Infrastructure NSW Restart Illawarra Fund. The Council’s remaining share of 2 million dollars is being funded from Section 94 contributions that have been collected from private development in the Shire.

Updated 15/5/18

The complete upgrade of Station Street is now estimated to cost $15.075 million.

Council’s initial estimate of $9.5 million was to include road works in Station Street, kerb and guttering, underground service relocation including stormwater drainage, streetscaping, traffic light technology and sidewalk replacement plus lighting, footpath and carparking in Kirkham Road.

Costs associated with these features of the upgrade have all increased since the funding application was lodged in September 2013 and upon completion of detailed designs a few other aspects were identified for inclusion such as the undergrounding of power and extensive street scaping(including planting approximately 100 advanced trees) which Council will now undertake.

While the undergrounding of power was not included in the budget outlined along with the detailed concept designs in 2017, Councillors indicated commitment to it from a separate funding source before the public exhibition. This support was based on providing an attractive streetscape which would be unaffected by the unsightly tree lopping practices of local energy companies.

Costs associated with these additional aspects could be delayed but it is proposed to complete them in a proper and timely fashion rather than dig up recent work and continue to encounter growing costs when coming back to do ad-hoc work at a later date.

Council intends to complete the upgrade of Station Street and Kirkham Road improvements by the 2020/21 financial year and proposes the following funding strategy:

·  $7.5 million—State Govt. Grant

·  $2.0 million—Developer Contributions

·  $3.884 million—Loan Borrowings

·  $1.540 million—General Fund Capital Works

·  $0.151 million - Capital Projects Reserve

Council is proposing to part-fund this upgrade through loan borrowings of $3.884 million. Council has sufficient capacity to fund these loan repayments and stay within the required benchmark for debt servicing.

As Council was deemed “fit” under the recent NSW local government reform program, access is available to borrowing facilities through T-Corp (NSW State Government).

The loan would be repaid over a period of twenty years.

Will access to my property be required?

Access to private property may be required to undertake preliminary investigations, such as surveys and geotechnical investigations, in order to identify land conditions, profiles and boundaries to inform the detailed design.

If private property access is required, we will contact you to seek permission and discuss access arrangements and investigation details.

Why has the name of the project changed from ‘Bowral Distributor Road’ to ‘Station Street upgrade’?

In response to feedback from the community the project has been renamed to “Station Street upgrade” to better reflect the scale of the project.

The use of the term ‘distributor’ led some of the community to perceive the proposal as a ‘highway’.

Distributor is not a road classification. The term describes the road function to collect traffic from local streets and distribute it to major through roads or to destination points, such as Bowral town centre.

The Stage 1 upgrade will be limited to the existing road corridor plus some existing rail property, which will be acquired by Wingecarribee Shire Council. The proposed upgrade of Station Street will include:

  two lanes in each direction (between Bundaroo Street and Bowral Street)

  new roundabouts at Bong Bong Street and Bowral Street

  improved parking facilities and access to town centre businesses.

What are the New South Wales road classifications?

New South Wales has two different systems for classifying roads, one which is a legal framework and one that is used purely for funding and responsibility allocation.

The Roads Act 1993 provides for the legal class of roads to be: Freeways, Controlled Access Roads, Tollways, State Highways, Main Roads, Secondary Roads, Tourist Roads, Transitways and State Works.

To simplify administration of the various legal road classes, the roads in which Roads and Maritime Services has an interest and council roads are grouped into a three-tier administrative classification system of:

1.  State Roads

2.  Regional Roads

3.  Local Roads. [1]

State Roads are managed and financed by Roads and Maritime and Regional Roads and Local Roads are managed and financed by councils.[2]

Regional Roads can be ‘classified’ (pursuant to the Roads Act 1993) or ‘unclassified’ (pursuant to Administration Agreement). Local Roads are unclassified roads.

Regional roads are eligible for annual assistance grants from the State Government in recognition of their relative importance (e.g. the Repair Program provides 50 per cent funding for specific rehabilitation or enhancement works).

The State Government provides only limited assistance under special programs (e.g. urban bus routes) for local roads.[3]



[1] Roads and Maritime Services: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/partners-suppliers/lgr/arrangements-councils/road-classification.html

[2][2] Roads and Maritime Services: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/partners-suppliers/lgr/documents/classified-roads-schedule.pdf

[3] Roads and Maritime: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/partners-suppliers/lgr/arrangements-councils/road-management-arrangements.html

Will road classifications change as a result of the project?

The Station Street upgrade will improve connections withMoss Vale, Bowral and Mittagong Roads, which are State Roads (or legal class Main Road - MR260). Bong Bong Street is part of MR260.

The route along Station Street from Bong Bong Street and up to the Moss Vale Road/Kangaloon Road roundabout (including Funstan Street), is currently an ‘unclassified Regional Road’ (or legal class Main Road - MR7639).

Reclassification of Station Street to a State Road and Bong Bong Street to a Local Road will be sought as part of the project.

If you look, the signage at either end of Bowral directs traffic along Station Street rather than along Bong Bong Street which is the Main Road.

What are the anticipated impacts of the road and construction works?

Council’s intention is to construct the offset parking in Kirkham Road first. This will provide some suitable alternative parking to help offset the loss of parking that will occur during the Station Street elements of the work, but there will be a loss of parking while the Station Street works are constructed. Should include a diagram indicating other parking areas in Bowral.

Once Kirkham Road works are complete, Council will commence the works in Station Street. Depending on the schedule of proposed works from the construction Contractor it is expected that the works through the carparks and vacant land will be constructed first as these will only impact parking and minimise impacts to the through traffic on Station Street.

Then works along the existing Station Street would probably commence. These will be managed with typical traffic control and diversions as is usual on roadworks construction sites.

Who will be completing the works? Council or Contractor?

We will engage external contractors to undertake the works on behalf of Council.

Why not build a bypass along Kirkham Road?

Council’s traffic studies have shown that Bowral is a destination for traffic. That is, 75% of traffic going into Bowral has Bowral as its destination, only 25% of traffic is bypassing for another destination. Therefore, the expense of building a Kirkham Road “bypass” is not justifiable on a cost / benefit reasoning.

But let’s look at the mechanics of building a Kirkham Road bypass.

Construction wise, it is reasonably simple to link the northern end of Kirkham Road back onto Mittagong Road. It is possible to adjust the sharp bend at the top end of Kirkham Road and to construct an acceleration / merge lane for the traffic coming out of Kirkham Road and merge with the through traffic.

But at the southern end? It is obvious we will need a bridge to get traffic over the railway line. The bottom of the bridge will need to be a minimum clearance of 7m over the rail lines to allow for future electrification of the railway. Now say the bridge structure is 1m thick, the road needs to be 8m high over the railway.

Now say the approach roads are at a grade of 1 in 10. This means we have to construct 80m of road at each end of the bridge. Further, if the road is two 3.5m wide lanes with a 3.0m wide shoulder on each side (to allow for breakdowns not blocking the road), the road will be 13m wide. Now if the road was constructed using earth embankments and the embankments had a 1 in 2 slope, the total embankment would be 45m wide, which we wouldn’t have the space for, so we would have to construct the approaches with elevated concrete roadway sections which would be expensive and would the community really want that in the middle of Bowral.

We would need a very long bridge to cross the railway as we can't simply go straight across to link with the existing roads, we would have to cross at an acute angle, which would make the bridge long and more expensive to construct.

Anyway, where would you build the bridge? If you go south too far south of Bowral Street, you have the old brickpit with plus private property acquisitions to contend with and we come further north we have to purchase a large number of commercial and private properties and all this on top of the high expense of building the road and bridge.

In addition, we have to get the traffic onto and off the bypass at Wingecarribee Street, so we would require a second bridge over the railway there as well. On top, of that to make the “bypass” a more efficient traffic route, it would be necessary to prioritise the access onto and off the route at Wingecarribee Street, which would increase delays on Station Street at the Wingecarribee Street lights to improve traffic access to the “bypass”.

Let’s face it, if you are in the middle of Bowral are you going to go over to Kirkham Road to head out of town? No, you’ll use the existing routes, so the bypass will really only serve as a bypass and then only cater for 25% of Bowral’s traffic.

So to summarise the “bypass”, it’s not a large traffic need, it is difficult and hugely expensive (let’s say $40M - $50M) to construct, it would involve a concrete monster in the middle of Bowral, it would involve extensive purchase of private property and would create major changes to the look and feel of Bowral.

Streetscape, trees and environment

Will any trees be removed as part of the project?

Amenity and landscaping are key considerations in the development of the Station Street Upgrade and the design will also be guided by Council’s Street Tree Master Plan.

Arborist investigations and environmental studies have been completed to inform the detailed design.  Early advice was that there may be the need to remove some trees as a result of the road widening or re-alignment and if trees are assessed as being in poor health and a potential safety risk.

We can now confirm which trees need to be removed and are seeking input from the community on the landscape design. The design has considered a variety of options to minimise the impact to existing trees.

Please take a look at the fact sheets for further information.

What is happening with the avenue of Pin Oaks?

Updated 15/5/18
Council has been focused on saving and protecting the majority of the pin oaks near the Memorial Park. These were planted by local school students, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts during Coronation Day celebrations held on 12 May 1937 and are well loved by locals and visitors alike.

Four pin oaks were initially identified for removal as part of the project as a direct result of the required road alignment. Further reviews of the design indicate that 13 of the 15 pin oaks (two extra) could be retained with amendments. The avenue effect will remain with the road between them transformed into a car park.

Existing kerbs and the old roadway will be retained as the new car park area so that tree roots aren't disturbed. Part of the road surface will be changed to permeable paving to provide better living conditions around the trunks together with mulch and underplantings.

The two pin oaks to be removed are from the western row of trees at the northern end.

The new landscape plan intends to plant mature Pin Oaks in the vicinity of the northern end of the project to offset these tree loses.

Read the Pin Oak Avenue fact sheet to learn more and view plans which show the retained trees and proposed road re-alignment.

What Tree species are going to be planted?

The tree species have been identified  in Council’s adopted Street Tree Master Plan and the recommended trees are species (Tulip Trees) for Station Street. Images below show the Tulip Trees grown locally in Autumn and Summer.

Tulip tree autumn colour

Tulip tree foliage in Summer




Will you retain the Camellias in front of the train station?

Some of the Camellias in front of the Station will be retained. Other selected plants will be removed and transplanted in the Pocket Park to the north of the Station.

This will improve visibility and security at the Station while retaining the Camellias as part of the Bowral streetscape.

The 17 existing camellias located within the road reserve and garden in front of Bowral Railway Station have been attributed to Claude and Isobel Crowe of Berrima Bridge Nurseries. The nurseries were responsible for many street tree plantings within the Shire. It is therefore planned to transplant and relocate 10 of the camellias to a nearby pocket park in order to acknowledge their significance.

Will council replant trees that are removed during construction?

Plane trees at front of Milk Factory could be relocated to a more suitable location and some of the Camellias in front of the Station will be transplanted to the pocket park to the north of the Station, but we cannot be sure how removal, transportation and replanting would impact on their health. 

Will there be any environmental impacts?

As part of the Station Street Upgrade planning process, a review of environmental factors (REF) will identify project impacts and measures to be undertaken to minimise these.

Parking

Will there be an overall loss of parking in Bowral?

Updated 17/5/2018

Since Council's decision to retain additional trees, designs are being redone and there may be a loss of up to 10 spaces as a result.

Council is investigating longer term options for the development of additional parking in Bowral in the future. The purchase of additional land in Wattle Lane to extend the existing Banyette Street car park will ensure there is an increase in total parking spaces within the town centre.

Read the Car Park Designs fact sheet for further information.

Will street parking arrangements change?

Parking arrangements will change in a number of locations as part of the upgrade of Station Street and improvements in Kirkham Road.

Council does not propose to remove or further restrict parking at this time within the section of Station Street bounded by Boolwey and Wingecarribee Streets. We do however plan to seek a reclassification of Station Street to a State Controlled Road, in place of Bong Bong Street, and if this is successful we cannot predict how Roads and Maritime Services will manage parking should traffic volumes increase in the future.

Where will people park when the construction starts?

New untimed parking spaces will be constructed in Kirkham Road before construction commences in Station Street. We also propose to stage the works in Station Street to minimise loss of parking where possible as well as promote the use of car parks throughout the town centre, including the Bowral Swimming Centre which is largely vacant in cooler months and only a 400m walk to Bundaroo Street.

Design of Station Street Upgrade

Why aren’t you duplicating the bridge at Wingecarribee Street?

The construction of a duplicate bridge at Wingecarribee Street is another longer term plan for Bowral, but it is not part of the Station Street project and is unfunded and timing of the delivery of this is unknown at this time.

Is the level crossing going to be re-opened to connect Bowral St with Kirkham Rd?

No. The existing signalised level crossing for ONLY pedestrians will remain untouched.

Stage 2 : extension of Railway Parade

Have detailed concept designs been approved for Stage 2?

Council is still developing the design for Stage 2. These will be presented for the community to review at a later date.

When is Stage 2 likely to be constructed?

Stage 2 is unfunded, therefore, there is no plan to construct Stage 2 at this time.

Exhibition and consultation

Will the community have a say on the Station Street upgrade?

Stakeholder and community consultation will be undertaken during all stages of the project and build on the extensive consultation undertaken in 2012 on the Bowral Parking, Traffic and Transport Strategy, which identified the need for the Station Street upgrade (Bowral Distributor Road).

A range of communication activities have been undertaken to allow for stakeholder and community input including community updates, notifications, meetings, workshops and information sessions.

Now that Council has resolved to proceed with construction the community, businesses and property owners will be kept informed.

How long will the detailed concept designs be placed on exhibition?

The detailed concept designs for Station Street will be placed on exhibition from 16 August until 18 September 2017. Submissions and feedback about the designs will be accepted during the exhibition period and for a further 2 weeks, concluding on Tuesday 3 October 2017.

How has the design evolved in response to feedback?

Updated 15/2/18
Following consultation with Station Street property owners and tenants in 2016 about the initial concept plan and lengthy collaboration with road and rail authorities, a detailed concept design was developed.

The design exhibited in late 2017 addressed a number of community concerns, especially about the potential for loss of parking spaces and a strong desire to protect trees in the northern portion of Station Street.

The design team identified aspects which could be adjusted without affecting the key objective of improving access and traffic distribution throughout the Bowral town centre. Councillors subsequently endorsed a public exhibition of the detailed concept design with three options for the community to consider.

Upon completion of the public exhibition of detailed concept plans, submissions were reviewed by the project team and further adjustments recommended for the design. The amendments made to the design are addressed in a report considered by Council on 14 February 2018, when it was resolved to proceed to tender. Read report 12.1 in the 14/02/2018 agenda at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/council-meeting-agendas-minutes

Kirkham Road

What changes are proposed for Kirkham Road?

Updated 15/5/2018

Council will start work on parking improvements in Kirkham Road during 2018. This work will ensure that all day parking is provided before construction commences in Station Street.

Kirkham Road will be provided with:

  • improved lighting
  • new kerb and guttering
  • a footpath
  • upgraded road pavements
Parallel parking will be formalised on both sides of Kirkham Road between Sherwood Avenue and Oxleys Hill Road.

How is the work in Kirkham Road being funded?

Updated 15/5/18

The upgrade of Kirkham Road’s entire length has been on Council’s unfunded list for quite some time. The work is estimated to cost $4.772 million and with $1.430 million recently announced in funding by the NSW Government it is proposed to combine the car parking improvement work (for Station Street Upgrade) with the road upgrade.

Council intends to complete all Kirkham Road work in the 2018/19 financial year and proposes the following funding strategy:

·  $1.430 million—State Govt. Grant

·  $1.378 million—General Fund Capital Works

·  $1.540 million—Loan Borrowings

·  $0.424 million - Special Rate Variation

Council is proposing to part-fund this upgrade through loan borrowings of $1.540 million. Council has sufficient capacity to fund these loan repayments and stay within the required benchmark for debt servicing.

As Council was deemed “fit” under the recent NSW local government reform program, access is available to borrowing facilities through T-Corp (NSW State Government).

The loan would be repaid over a period of twenty years.