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Streetscape works progress in Maldon

The project to place powerlines underground in Maldon is progressing well.

The project to place powerlines underground in Maldon’s CBD is nearing the halfway point, with works progressing well in the historic town.

Friday 19 February 2021

The project to place powerlines underground in Maldon’s CBD is nearing the halfway point, with works progressing well in the historic town.

Power will be placed underground along sections of High, Main, Fountain, Francis, Templeton and Dolphin streets by the end of June, weather permitting.

“This is an important project for Maldon and it is tracking well, with works planned to minimise the impact on businesses, residents and visitors,” said Tanya Goddard, Executive Manager Infrastructure, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“To date, the works have focused on installing conduits underneath streets and footpaths, with care taken to protect the many nineteenth century buildings,” said Ms Goddard.

“Thank you to residents, businesses, visitors and building owners for your patience and support for this project,” she said.

Once the underground work is complete and the electrical pits have been installed Powercor will turn its focus to removing the powerpoles and connections to individual properties.

In order to transfer power from overhead to underground lines, Powercor requires two power outage days in March. These will be Thursday 4 March and Tuesday 16 March from approximately 9am to 3.30pm and will affect properties across the wider Maldon township.

For the outage scheduled on Tuesday 16 March, Council will fund generators connected to the powerlines to enable businesses and residents in the Maldon central area to operate for the day. Properties north and north west of Templeton Street area out to Fogartys Gap Road area are unable to be serviced by large scale generators and will be without power all day.

“Unfortunately due to the nature of the work and the electricity network configuration, large-scale generators aren’t able to be used for the power outage planned for Thursday 4 March or for all sections of the town on Tuesday 16 March,” said Ms Goddard.

Powercor program lead Tim Hughan said significant efforts have been made to minimise the impact on businesses during these works.

“Scheduling the outages now will avoid the need for any disruption during the Easter trading period,” said Mr Hughan.

“We thank Council for their support on helping to minimise the impacts these works have on our customers as we progress this fantastic community project,” he said.

Powercor will notify all local residents and businesses which are directly affected by each stage of works, well in advance.

There will be shorter power outages as the underground power is connected to properties, but Powercor will coordinate this directly with affected households and businesses.

Council will cover the costs to connect underground power to business meter boxes as part of this project.

“We’re pleased to be able to relieve businesses of those costs, given the tough year that many small businesses had in 2020,” said Ms Goddard.

Undergrounding power, improving the streetscape and restoring shopfronts are three projects that make up the Maldon Streetscape Revitalisation Project. The project received $4.5 million funding from the State Government through its Crisis Committee of Cabinet – Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

Work is also underway on the plan to improve Maldon’s historic streetscape, with consultation continuing with several streetscape working groups, made up of community members.

Custom designed streetlights and poles have received heritage, consultant and Heritage Working Group approval, and will be installed as the underground power works progress.

The Tree Working Group has approved the selection of Elm and Peppercorn trees to replace those suffering disease and irreparable damage, throughout the central business area.

A temporary crossing point will soon be installed on Main Street between the butcher and newsagent as a trial to determine whether it is a suitable site for a permanent crossing point.

The trial duration will be subject to evaluation advice from the streetscape consultant, and will incorporate requirements from business owners, event organisers, working groups and Council.

Council is working through a number of other details prior to recommencing detailed design.

“This continues to be a very collaborative project. Thank you to working group members and the Maldon community who have provided so much support and feedback, along with all the groups who have worked so hard to get the project to this point,” said Ms Goddard.

Image: The project to place powerlines underground in Maldon is progressing well.

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