VicRoads is expecting to present a preferred route for the Beaufort bypass project in coming months.
Regional Roads Victoria western regional director Mal Kersting said staff were continuing to work closely with landowners and Beaufort residents to refine bypass route options.
"We're also putting together the Environmental Effects Statement, which is a complex process that involves balancing the results of a number of technical reports along with landowner needs," he said.
Regional Roads Victoria visited Pyrenees Shire Council offices on May 9 and 10 and spoke to about 70 people about the project.
Officers discussed with community members the next steps of the project and how Beaufort will transition from a highway town to a destination town.
VicRoads presented four options for the Beaufort bypass in February and March 2018, refined from three options presented in early 2017.
Watch the video below from March 2018 outlining the refined route Beaufort bypass route options.
Option A0 and A1 are further away from the township and option C0 and C1 have less impact on Camp Hill but are closer to town.
Approximately 200 community responses were used to help inform assessment of the route options, along with the results of technical investigations as part of the Environmental Effects Statement.
The assessment investigated the potential impact the routes may have on safety, community, environment, economy, cultural heritage, land use, agriculture, hydrology and traffic volumes.
Meanwhile, community groups have been active in preparing Beaufort for bypass, working to position the town as a stand-alone destination with more events and improved marketing.
The Beaufort Progress Association which began formally in early 2017 has been working to develop and promote local tourism events.
The association successfully pitched to feature Beaufort on ABC's television program Back Roads that aired on January 14 and featured plans to use Vegemite as a tourism drawcard.
Members are working to create a museum on the inventor of Vegemite Cyril Callister who was born in neighbouring town Chute.
Other tourism plans include a growing event calendar with new Australia Day activities trialed in January and plans for a revamped Beaufort Town Market, improved marketing of Beaufort as an RV friendly town including an RV Wine Tour and increasing awareness about surrounding nature experiences with the Beaufort Walkfest.
Pyrenees Shire Council has been working on a shire-wide place-making project which will guide the future development of all its towns.
Chief executive Jim Nolan said the project, known as Pyrenees Futures, will develop a framework plan for Beaufort.
"This is a visionary document to inform future land use and investment in Beaufort," he said.
Pyrenees Shire Council has a representative on the bypass technical reference committee.
Mr Nolan said once VicRoads' Environmental Effects Statement is exhibited, council would be looking to make a submission.
Community members will also have an opportunity to make a formal submission regarding the plans.
"Council's submission to the Environmental Effects Statement will be looking to reference the Pyrenees Futures project," he said.
"It will seek support from government to implement actions to mitigate any economic and social impacts identified in the EES work, to ensure Beaufort is well placed to thrive once it is bypassed."
Once a final bypass route has been determined, it will be presented to the Minister for Planning for final approval.
Visit Regional Roads Victoria's Beaufort by-pass information page for more details about the bypass.
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