31 January 2013
Joint release with:
The Hon Dr Denis Napthine MP
Victorian Minister for Ports
Victorian Minister for Regional Cities
Victorian Minister for Racing
Victorian Minister for Major Projects
Construction of a major section of the $505 million Western Highway Duplication from Ballarat to Stawell is now complete—and marks a significant milestone in the rollout of this duplication.
It means drivers are now experiencing the benefits of part of the Western Highway upgrade, with the first stage of the duplication now officially opened to traffic today.
The 8.1 kilometre duplication of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Burrumbeet was opened to traffic today by Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King and Victorian Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine.
“The Australian Government through our Nation Building Program has committed $404 million towards duplicating the Western Highway from Ballarat to Stawell,” Ms King said.
“Duplicating the Western Highway will provide major economic benefits to this region and improve access to local and interstate travellers. This project recognises the significance of Ballarat as one of Australia's major regional centres.
“More than 5,500 vehicles, including more than 1,300 of these being freight vehicles will travel on this section of the highway per day and with these numbers expected to double by 2025, this project will accommodate these volumes.”
“Travel on the upgraded highway will be safer and more reliable, reducing the risk of head-on accidents and driver frustration due to a lack of safe overtaking opportunities,” Ms King said.
Dr Napthine said the Western Highway upgrade is an important project for Victoria, with the Victorian Coalition Government contributing $101 million to the project.
“This is a part of the Victorian Coalition Government's record $5.6 billion investment in infrastructure this year,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Western Highway upgrade is part of the Victorian Coalition Government's plan for improved road and freight movements in Victoria continuing our reputation as the freight and logistics hub of Australia.”
“Road users can now see the initial benefits of the project with another 23 kilometres under construction between Burrumbeet and Beaufort,” Dr Napthine said.
Member for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay said work on the initial section of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Burrumbeet was now complete.
“The 8 kilometre section includes new Melbourne-bound lanes west of the Sunraysia Highway to Carpenter Road,” Mr Ramsay said.
Flooding and unseasonal rain in the summer of 2011 and 2012 affected construction works for the first stage of the project. According to the Bureau of Meteorology statistics, 206 millimetres of rain was recorded near the Western Highway site in January 2011, the highest rainfall for the month of January on record.
The Australian Government's $404 million commitment to duplicating the Western Highway from Ballarat to Stawell complements other major works, including:
- $160 million for the realignment of the Western Highway at Anthonys Cutting;
- $40 million for upgrades between Stawell and the South Australian border;
- $17.79 million for Ballarat roads under the Roads to Recovery Program; and
- $5.05 million for Ballarat roads under the Black Spot Program.
Funding from the Nation Building Program will complete the duplication of the Western Highway to around Buangor, which is around 57 kilometres of the 110 kilometre route between Ballarat and Stawell.
The Australian Government is committing $6.8 billion for land transport infrastructure in Victoria over the period 2008-09 to 2013-14.
- For Ms King—Peter Dwyer—0409 866 054
- For Dr Napthine—Mark Lee—0408 547 381