Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said that the Western Highway is one of the busiest rural highways in Victoria, and also one of the most significant freight routes for interstate travel.
Mr Chester also described the highway as “…a vital freight link that supports communities dependent on grain production, farming, regional tourism and a range of service and manufacturing activities”.
The planned duplication between Ararat and Buangor is expected to greatly improve safety, with the addition of 12.5 km of lanes. The Victorian Government has committed $161 million, and the Australian Government $501.3 million to the project, which is expected to start early next year and will take approximately two years to complete.
Expressions of interest are open until the 11th of May and tenderers will be shortlisted in June. Those who are shortlisted will then be able to submit a Request for Tender, and it’s expected that the successful contractor will be appointed in October when design work is will start.
Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety in Victoria, said the planned upgrade will provide a more efficient and safer four-lane duplicated route.
“The duplication between Ararat and Ballarat is what many in the community have been asking for, and the Victorian Government is pleased to have a role in delivering this much-needed duplication”, he said.
The duplication is also expected to address the many crashes on the Western Highway. While the traffic lanes will be separated, safety will also be improved for the 6500 drivers using the Western Highway each day with safety barriers, intersection improvements, road shoulders, protected turning lanes and service lanes.
Source: ABC News.