All risks posed by the widening have been identified and every possible measure has been taken to protect the College’s interests.
Words: Tim Shearer
Scotch College is preparing its response to a formal offer of compensation from VicRoads for the loss of land taken through compulsory acquisition associated with the widening of City Link. The School must consider all matters which are compensable, including land loss, depreciation and severance, loss of amenity and vegetation, and other project impacts. The School will prepare a detailed claim.
The School has engaged consultants to assist in the process. Also, the College Council has devoted considerable resources to ensuring all risks posed by the widening have been identified and every possible measure has been taken to protect the College’s interests.
The Council appointed a committee to oversee the School’s response, chaired by Dr David Kemp. Meeting regularly, the committee worked closely with the College’s legal advisers and appointed a range of other expert consultants, including:
The College Bursar, Ross Congleton, and his staff continue to provide considerable administrative support in coordinating the various streams of work.
A strip of land up to 2.85 metres wide on the southern boundary of the Hawthorn campus has been acquired compulsorily to accommodate the extra lane. The loss of this land will permanently reduce the available playing space on the Melville Oval and other usable areas.
An additional strip, about 11 metres wide, is being used for temporary construction purposes and has significantly encroached on the Oval and its surrounds. A considerable number of mature and valuable trees were cut down in cordoning off this works area.
Mr Congleton described the settlement offer from VicRoads as inadequate and said it was clearly a starting point in what might be a long process to determine the final monetary compensation.
While the process to determine compensation is only beginning, the construction work has moved into a new phase. At the time this publication was being prepared, Transurban/City Link had almost completed all the piers on which the widened roadway will be constructed.
Construction crews have begun working on Saturdays using large cranes to lift heavy concrete beams onto the piers to create the viaduct that will form the base of the new roadway. The lifting is being done on Saturdays to reduce risk and minimise disruption to School operations.
Once the viaduct is complete, it is expected that the contractors will remove the existing noise barrier and install temporary noise protection. Transurban/CityLink has given Scotch no assurances about the dimensions or effectiveness of this barrier.
Mr Congleton said it was not known if the temporary barrier would offer the same protection as the current permanent noisewall against the roar of the 160,000 vehicles per day that pass the Scotch campus.
The temporary noise wall is expected to be in place until at least March next year when a new, longer barrier, the height and design of which Scotch negotiated with VicRoads and Transurban/City Link, will be erected alongside the wider road.
The widened tollway is expected to carry as many as 300,000 vehicles a day, but the speed limit will be permanently reduced to 80 kilometres per hour.
We will keep you updated on the tollway widening project through future editions of Great Scot.
You might also wish to visit the Scotch College website
www.scotch.com.au for new information pages and to provide feedback, ideas and opinions. GS
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)