Two new duplicated sections of the Princes Highway will open in time to accommodate the heavy Christmas and summer holiday traffic.
The new 3.4 kilometre stretch between Nambrok Road and Maffra-Rosedale Road at Nambrok and the 3.9km stretch just east of Traralgon between Minniedale Road and Sheepwash Creek Road will open to traffic this week.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the completion of these two stages was an important milestone in the $425 million Princes Highway duplication project.
“This will mean 30 kilometres of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale will now cater for two lanes of traffic in both directions,” Mr Chester said.
“A better, safer Princes Highway will save lives and save time for locals and visitors to our region.
“The finished project will also greatly improve freight efficiencies for major industries across the region.
“Importantly, the highway duplication project will help to make the Gippsland region more accessible to visitors from Melbourne and beyond.
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had provided $210 million of the $260 million for those first nine sections of duplication.
The tenth and eleventh sections at Kilmany and Flynn still require funding from the State Government.
“In May this year, the Federal Government announced an additional $132 million to finish the project, but we are still waiting for a commitment from the Victorian Labor Government,” Mr Chester said.
“Preconstruction works are underway on these final two stages, but construction can’t begin until the State Government commits its share of the funding. The Victorian Government is required to contribute 20 percent of the cost, so there’s a $33 million shortfall.”
These final two stages are:
• Flynn, from the east of Sheepwash Creek Road to the west of Flynn Creek Road; and
• Kilmany, between Maffra-Rosedale Road and Sale-Cowwarr Road (linking Nambrok Stage 2 to Fulham 2).
The nine sections of the duplication project now complete are:
• Traralgon East, between Traralgon-Maffra Road and Stammers Road
• Traralgon East, between Stammers Road and Minniedale Road
• Flynn to Rosedale
• Nambrok (Stage 1), between Dennison Road and Nambrok Road
• Nambrok (Stage 2), between Nambrok Road and Maffra-Rosedale Road
• Fulham (Stage 2), from Sale-Cowwarr Road to Sale-Heyfield Road
• Fulham (Stage 1), between Sale-Heyfield Road and Wurruk
• Wurruk to Sale
• Traralgon East, between Minniedale Road and Sheepwash Creek Road.
“We all want this important project to be completed as soon as possible, so we can start to enjoy the benefits of this major investment,” Mr Chester said.
“Everyone who travels along the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale has shown an enormous amount of patience during this long period of construction.
“I think we are all looking forward to the time when the full 42 kilometres of highway between Traralgon and Sale are duplicated to provide a better, safer highway