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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester wants work to begin as soon as possible to complete the duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale to help create local jobs.

News that $253.2 million in funding for the final two stages at Flynn and Kilmany of the highway duplication project had been secured has been widely welcomed.

Now, Mr Chester says work to duplicate the last 12 kilometres must get underway without further delay.

“The Federal Government’s $202.6 million contribution was part of a $1.5 billion infrastructure package to fund shovel-ready infrastructure projects and support local jobs immediately,” Mr Chester said.

“Much of the pre-construction work on these two sections of the highway project has been completed and procurement is scheduled to get underway before the end of the year.

“This project has been stalled since December 2018 when the sections at Nambrok and east of Traralgon opened to traffic. For safety and economic reasons, it’s important this project isn’t held up any longer.

“The funding for the Princes Highway is part of the Federal Government’s $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment plan to assist the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“This project will bring millions of dollars into the Gippsland economy and support local jobs.

“When it’s finished, Gippslanders will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safer highway and shorter travel times across our region, improving efficiency for the freight industry and bringing the attractions in our east closer to city visitors.

“The duplication project is expected to be completed by early to mid-2024, but I am sure there are many people like me who want the roadworks to be finished much sooner so they can begin to enjoy the benefits.”

The last two sections of the highway to be duplicated involves constructing two additional lanes to provide a four-lane dual carriageway with a central median east of Sheepwash Creek Road to west of Flynns Creek Road at Flynn, and east of Maffra-Rosedale Road to west of Sale-Cowwarr Road at Kilmany.

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