January 22, 2015
PROGRESS on the $175 million Princes Highway East duplication continues with the opening today of the 1.7 kilometre section from Stammers Road to Minniedale Road near Traralgon.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said upgrading the Princes Highway East will save motorists time and money.
“The Princes Highway East forms an important link between Melbourne and Gippsland supporting the key dairy, timber, paper, coal and gas industries in the region,” Mr Truss said.
“Up to 17,000 vehicles use the Princes Highway East every day, so upgrading the highway makes good economic sense.
“Freight operators will see lower business costs through time savings, while all motorists will enjoy a safer and more efficient road.”
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said works from Stammers Road to Minniedale Road had delivered substantial road safety improvements to the area.
“By upgrading from a two lane road to a four lane dual carriageway, motorists will see less need to perform dangerous manoeuvres while stuck behind slow moving traffic,” Mr Chester said.
Mr Chester said today marked another important milestone in the $175 million duplication project, which is predominantly funded by the Federal Government.
“It’s terrific to see that we’re getting on with the job of delivering safer roads for Gippslanders and the travelling public,” Mr Chester said.
“This Stammers Rd to Minniedale Rd duplication is the third section to be completed as part of a $175 million project on a road that carries between 8,000 and 17,000 vehicles every day.
“It’s expensive to duplicate the highway, but it is certainly worth it in the long run. A duplicated road will boost business productivity, support the tourism industry by reducing travel times, and most importantly it will save lives and cut the number of serious injuries.
“Last year the Federal Government provided an additional $70 million for the project and received a commitment of $15 million from the previous Coalition Government for future stages and I’m looking forward to working with my Federal and State colleagues to deliver more improvements on this vital piece of Gippsland infrastructure.”
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the construction team had also realigned Wilmot Court to the Minniedale Road roundabout, ensuring motorists would have safe and efficient access to the highway.
“As Victoria’s first Minister dedicated to road safety, I am pleased to see the investment in road safety on a key transport route and I am looking forward to when the duplication is complete in mid-2016,” Mr Donnellan said.
The Australian Government has committed $140 million to the project, with the Victorian Government funding the remaining $35 million.