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June 23, 2015

THE $260 million Princes Highway East duplication has passed another major milestone with the partial opening of a new bridge across Blind Joe’s Creek between Rosedale and Traralgon.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, said eastbound traffic had been allowed onto the latest stage of the project after sealing works were completed ahead of schedule.

“It is satisfying to see the gradual transformation of the route between Traralgon and Sale, which will deliver benefits to the community for many decades to come,” Minister Truss said.

“The imminent opening of this bridge is a key milestone for the 8.3 kilometre Flynn to Rosedale section. I’ve personally driven along this section of road on many occasions and I have no doubt this project will increase safety and productivity in Gippsland.”

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the project was progressing well and he thanked motorists for their patience.

“There is some short-term inconvenience with increased travel times while the roadwork is undertaken but all Gippslanders, along with visitors to our region, will benefit from a safer and more efficient highway link to Melbourne,” Mr Chester said.

“Our tourism, small business owners, farmers and heavy industries will all benefit from an economic perspective, but most importantly, this project will save lives. All the road safety research indicates that a duplicated highway will result in fewer accidents, fewer fatalities and fewer injuries.”

“Motorists travelling towards Traralgon over the next few days will continue to use the existing highway, however both directions of traffic will soon share the new roadway so crews can carry out strengthening works to the existing highway and get Blind Joe’s Bridge ready for Traralgon-bound traffic.

“The Flynn to Rosedale section of the project also includes the construction of new bridges at Flynns Creek and Middle Creek, intersection improvements at Flynns Creek Road, Wrights Lane and Cricket Street, and a truck stop and rest area at Flynn.

“This is the largest stage of the overall project, and is expected to be completed by 2018.”

The Federal Government has committed $210 million and the Victorian Government $50 million towards the project.

CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss discussed the progress of the Princes Highway duplication between Sale and Traralgon while in Parliament House, Canberra, this week.

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