Construction on the M80 Ring Road in Melbourne is due to start within weeks, widening bottlenecks at Keilor Park Drive and Sunshine Avenue with more lanes in each direction.
No lane closures or road closures are expected, and the government is hoping that disruption will be minimised for commuters.
The $300m M80 Ring Road upgrade was awarded to Fulton Hogan, and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher says the project will make it safer for the 160,000 vehicles using the road each day and will also ease congestion.
“This upgrade will unlock economic capacity, provide a vital injection of jobs and better serve our communities now and for decades to come,” he said.
3.2 kilometres will be upgraded, improving interchanges, strengthening and widening the EJ Whitten Bridge, and providing a better experience for cyclists and pedestrians on the upgraded shared user path. It will also be create 1350 direct and indirect jobs and boost the Victorian economy.
Luke Donnellan, Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, said that the M80 Ring Road will be widened from two lanes to four, and will include an overhead Lane Use Management System and ramp signalling “…to ensure a smoother and more efficient journey for motorists.”
Motorists heading to Greensborough are expected to save up to 15 minutes, while those heading to Altona should save approximately 10 minutes.
Both the Victorian and Australian Governments have each contributed $150 million towards the upgrade, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Motorists along the M80 Western Ring Road will be the first in the world to try an Adaptive Variable Speed Limit System. The system is algorithm-powered and fully-automated and changes the speed limits based on the amount of traffic it detects.
The automatic system will maintain movement and reduce congestion along the road, and comes after a manual trial was completed on the same part of the road in 2014.