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December 17, 2015

A project to build three new overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway between Nowa Nowa and Orbost is nearing completion.

Road sealing is expected to commence soon on the new east-bound overtaking lanes near Hospital Creek at Tostaree, another key milestone in the $11 million project.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said drivers would soon start to reap the benefits of the major road upgrade.

“These three new overtaking lanes are essential for providing safety improvements and boosting productivity along the eastern section of the Princes Highway,” Mr Chester said.

“I would like to thank motorists who have remained patient while roadworks have been taking place. The delays have caused short-term disruption, but there will be numerous long-term benefits.”

The $11 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

The Nowa Nowa to Orbost section of Princes Highway is not included in the national road network, which is primarily funded by the Australian Government.

However Mr Chester was able to help secure off-network federal funding for the priority project, together with his state colleagues.

“This funding contribution by the Commonwealth is recognition the Princes Highway East is a major freight corridor that experiences significant demands from heavy vehicle movements,” Mr Chester said.

“There are also large spikes in traffic during the summer holiday periods, as people from within and outside Gippsland make their way to tourist spots like Marlo, Cape Conran and Mallacoota.

“I will continue working with my State colleague, Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, and local community members on securing further off-network roads funding for the Princes Highway into the future.”

The three overtaking lanes are in the eastbound direction near Hospital Creek and Dinner Creek, and westbound near Wombat Creek.

Mr Chester also welcomed news that VicRoads would spend $2.5 million fixing a 2.5km section of the Princes Highway between Tonghi and Cann River.

“I drive this section of road regularly, and have seen first-hand the shocking state of this road,” Mr Chester said.

“Local residents have been contacting me regularly about the road’s condition and the need for urgent attention.

“I am pleased VicRoads is expected to start work on repairing this section from February 2016 and recognise especially the efforts of my state colleague Tim Bull in securing this funding allocation.”

CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester on the roadside at Tostaree this week during a quick inspection of the new overtaking lanes being constructed between Nowa Nowa and Orbost.




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