Rochester’s Moore St upgrade is going ahead.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester’s Moore St upgrade is pushing ahead following talks between Campaspe Shire, the Rochester and District Community Planning Group and the Rochester Development Committee last week.
The upgrade will include a rest-stop with walking path, barbecue and toilet facilities, space for caravans and cars to park and three different sculptures representing the town’s history.
Phase one includes the placing of three sculptures which will be situated more than 14m from the roadside on Moore St from the old Opperman statue to the Rochester and Elmore District Health Service.
Artist Velislav Georgieve has created sculptures which depict Rochester icon Sir Hubert Opperman (who was born at 1 Moore St), the cereal crops and agriculture of the district and the gateway to the Heathcote wine region.
Mr Georgieve was confident the scultures would be compliant with VicRoads’ criteria for roadside features.
Phase two will be the parking facilities and toilet block and phase three will be the walking path around the sculptures.
Community planning group member John Foster said the purpose of the rest-stop was to get passing commuters to stop in town.
‘‘If they stop, there is a fair chance they will go into a shop, stop for coffee or go to the pub for a meal,’’ he said.
Mr Foster said Rochester Lions Park attracted many caravanners and the additional stop would act as a second rest facility for drivers coming to Rochester from the southern side of town.
He said many people who took caravan holidays noted where the best rest stops were and continued to stop in the same places year after year.
‘‘If we can get 10 out of 100 to stop, it would be good,’’ he said.
The initial plan for the upgrade was drawn up by the Campaspe Shire 10 years ago and then taken over by the Rochester and District Community Planning Group three years ago.
Mr Foster said the plans were shelved for some time until a sub-committee formed to focus solely on the Moore St upgrade plans.
Mr Foster and his group will meet with VicRoads next month and Campaspe Shire will then project manage the upgrade based on the findings.
Mr Foster said the only hurdle the planning group encountered was that Campaspe Shire did not want to service any more toilets in the Rochester township.
He said the Campaspe Shire had been in favour of the project and put forward $57,000 five years ago for phase one.
Moore St artist Velislav Georgieve, Rochester Development Committee president Peter Anderson, Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson, Campaspe Shire project manager Ros Diaz, Campaspe Shire community and economic development manager Kerry-Anne Jones, Rochester planning group members Karen Hughes and Bruce Bryant at the site of the Moore St upgrade.
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