The Napier Street upgrade involves the widening of a 2.7km-long section of Midland Highway between Weeroona Avenue and Hall Street in Bendigo, Australia.

The project attracts an A$30.4m ($23.9m) investment from the Victorian government. It is being executed in three stages, of which the first phase construction involved upgrades between Kirily and Willman courts.

The second stage involves road widening, installation of central medians and lighting along Napier Street, and the third stage includes construction of drainage and central median.

In partnership with the City of Great Bendigo, VicRoads initiated the upgrade project to provide enhanced transport connectivity and improve road capacity for other modes of transport.

Construction of stage one was completed in November 2017 and is underway for the second and third stages. The road upgrade is expected to improve the movements of the public, vehicles and safety by creating more reliable road conditions for journeys along Napier Street.

Napier Street upgrade background and purpose

Napier Street forms a part of the Midland Highway and is an important north-south freight and tourist connection. It links Echuca and Shepparton with the north of Bendigo.

“VicRoads initiated the upgrade project to provide enhanced transport connectivity and improve road capacity for other modes of transport.”

The route has been facing major traffic congestion due to the growing urban and business developments in the north of Bendigo. It carries an average of more than 20,000 vehicles a day.

Many consultations were planned to gather feedback for the upgrade project. The activities included drop-in sessions, online consultation hub, static display and social media responses.

Details of Napier Street upgrade

The Napier Street upgrade project will realise an additional 3m-wide traffic lane in each direction, an improved bicycle lane, and a 4.2m raised central median with dedicated right turn and U-turn openings.

Underground power, a boulevard of street trees, new traffic signals at Scott Street, upgraded pedestrian facilities at the While Hills shops, new pedestrian push button traffic signals at Grace Street and upgraded street lighting will also be installed as part of the project.

The car parking design of Napier Street will also be upgraded to provide parking at various points across the street. The new spaces will be created near businesses and behind the kerb in residential areas. The upgrade will also improve the availability of on-street parking.

A 2.3m-wide bicycle lane will be built on either side of the road, while new line markings with lane separations will be introduced on the roads. The upgrade will also benefit the pedestrians with wide, raised central medians that provide additional Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant cut-through crossing points.

Other improvements include a new signalised intersection at Scott and Napier Street, enhanced pedestrian facilities at signalised intersections, underground power and new pedestrian push-button traffic signals near Grace Street Utility upgrades include the replacement of the existing overhead electricity supply with a new underground supply network. Unsightly and hazardous power poles will be removed and personal safety improved.

Boulevard plantings with native trees will also be planted across the street, while the new street lighting will enhance the appearance of the street.

Contractors involved

Spiire was contracted to provide urban and landscape design for the Napier Street upgrade project.

Powercor is responsible to perform electricity works required for the upgrade.

Various service providers such as Powercor, Coliban Water, Downer (natural gas supplier), Telstra, NBN, Optus and NextGen co-ordinated with VicRoads for the project.