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RAIL upgrades for Ballarat, including the new Wendouree Train Station, are costing the State Government more than $7 million extra than intended.
The new station, located near the corner of Gillies and Howitt streets, and improvements to the Ballarat Train Station were expected to cost $11 million, but Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said yesterday the work would cost $18.7 million.
Spokesman for Ms Kosky Stephen Moynihan said the projects would cost more than originally planned for in September 2006 when it was first announced.
Because the design has changed a lot we have had delays," Mr Moynihan said.
The government said work on Ballarat's second railway station, designed by Australian artist Jeffrey Smart, was on track with the frames erected and the platform and 200-space car park progressing well.
The station will provide heating and air conditioning, bus and taxi bays and bike racks and lockers.
It is expected to service at least 27,000 residents from Alfredton, Lake Wendouree, Learmonth, Miners Rest and Wendouree.
"The new station will cater for the growing demand for rail services, with patronage on the Ballarat to Melbourne line surging by 26 per cent in the past year alone," Ms Kosky said.
Depending on patronage growth out of the station, the government said there were potentially 500 more long-term parking spaces.
Work at the Ballarat station has included 150 car park spaces in Doveton St and resurfacing works and streetscape works to the Ararat St car park.
Mr Kosky said the community would have an opportunity to add a local flavour to the station when mural designs were released early next year
The Ballarat Courier
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