The Monash Freeway Upgrade Project is going ahead, with detailed planning currently under way, construction due to start this year and the project expected to be complete by 2018.
The Federal Government is contributing $500 million to the project, which includes the widening and upgrading of the Monash Freeway (using funds that were meant for the East West link). The funding also includes $400 million from the State Government (promised in November last year).
The Monash Freeway will be upgraded from four to five lanes in each direction from South Gippsland Freeway to the EastLink Interchange and from two to three lanes to Berwick. Up to 400 jobs will be created by the peak of construction.
[cwa id='content-ad'] $200 million will go towards adding an extra lane in each direction from Clyde Road to EastLink, and expanding the freeway ramp between Koo Wee Rup and Warrigal roads. $300 million will go towards extending and widening towards Warrigal and Cardinia roads, and upgraded and new freeway ramp signals will also be added.
City of Casey Mayor Sam Aziz described the upgrade as one of the council’s top priorities. He also said that some residents of Casey spend up to three hours sitting on the Monash Freeway every day, and “…it’s essential our residents have access to a reliable and safe transport network.”
Darren Chester, Federal Transport Minister said that Victorians have already been punished by the Andrews Government after it failed to build the East West Link, and they shouldn’t be punished any longer. “Rather than have a political stalemate continue, we’ve put an offer on the table”, Mr Chester said.
The busiest part of the freeway will have an extra 20% capacity, crashes causing serious injury are expected to be reduced by 20%, and travel times will be reduced for commuters.
Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia, with the population expected to get close to doubling by 2050, meaning that the city needs huge investment in upgrading and developing transport infrastructure.