Scotch Adds Up the Costs of Tollway Widening
Words: Tim Shearer Photography: Cloud 9
The School is continuing to assess all losses and costs incurred as a result of the proposed widening of the City Link tollway.
Identifying these losses and costs is important in protecting the School’s financial interests, as Scotch is still to submit a claim for compensation which must be negotiated with VicRoads, most likely commencing next year.
The School has already endured several months of inconvenience with the start of construction work in September.
Transurban took possession of the works area in mid-August, fenced it and removed a significant number of trees, including old eucalypts, to allow construction of an access track for vehicles involved in pile-driving and other heavy construction. (An audit of trees lost is being conducted.)
The land is likely to be fenced off for up to 18 months and use of the Melville Oval will be significantly affected during this period.
During the final term of the school year, Transurban has cooperated with Scotch to make sure the early construction work – consisting mainly of noisy pile-driving – has been done with the least possible disruption to examinations and classes.
Traffic noise reduction has been a central issue. Last month, Transurban advised Scotch that most of the School’s demands for noise barrier heights and design had been accepted. Transurban will reinstate the extra noise protection Scotch College paid a considerable amount for when CityLink was built in the 1990s.
Hard work by acoustics consultants advising both sides produced a solution that should result in improvements over unacceptable existing traffic noise levels noticed across the Scotch campus, for some time. Noise levels will still be worse than international best practice, however, as Victorian authorities do not recognise the international standards; some areas of the campus may still be adversely affected.
The replacement barrier alongside the Scotch site will vary in height from three metres to a maximum of seven metres. The tallest section will comprise a six-metre-high solid concrete wall, topped with a one-metre transparent section to help the wall blend into the sky as viewed from the school grounds.
This new noisewall will be provided at no additional cost to Scotch College. The barrier by the playing fields is designed to try to blend in with surrounding vegetation. It will still be visually intrusive, even when revegetation matures.
Similarly, Scotch and Transurban have agreed on a workable plan for the reinstatement of the levee bank and the land where construction work has taken place. Scotch originally proposed an innovative design, using rock-filled cages to form ‘gabion’ retaining walls, then further developed the design with Transurban. The final design is still to be provided for consideration.
The gabion wall solution, used recently at Flemington Racecourse, is intended to let Scotch make the most effective use of land remaining after the tollway has been widened, while maintaining flood protection, in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Great Scot will keep you informed about further developments in the tollway widening project. GS
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)