Work has started to widen and upgrade the Western Highway between Buangor and Ararat, providing a safer and quicker journey for locals and visitors.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan turned the first sod in Buangor today, which will duplicate a 12.5 kilometre stretch of the Western Highway, delivering a four-lane divided route.
Works on the section between Buangor and Ararat will include an upgrade to two lanes in each direction, with additional turning lanes, a new bridge over the railway line, two new bridges over Hopkins River and an interchange at Hillside Road, with entry and exit ramps.
The Western Highway is one of Victoria’s key trade routes, providing a link between the region’s primary producers with Melbourne’s domestic and export markets.
The works will include six kilometres of new dual carriageway in farmland to the south of the existing Western Highway, providing a boost to local producers and causing less disruption for drivers while the upgrade is underway.
The Western Highway also serves as the major connection between Melbourne and Adelaide, and as such, work will be undertaken to minimise delays as much as possible.
The Western Highway will be progressively duplicated and upgraded between Ballarat and Stawell to get more people home safer and sooner.
The Australian and Victorian governments have invested $672 million for the duplication of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell, including construction to Ararat.
The highway will be opened to traffic as work is completed, with this section expected to be finished in 2020.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“The Western Highway is one of Victoria’s busiest rural highways – that’s why we’re not wasting a minute in making it safer and more reliable.”
“These upgrades will better connect Western Victorian producers to key markets within Australia and around the world – and that’s good news for local jobs and business.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“The community is right behind this project, and with good reason. It will reduce travel times and make it easier for locals to do business.”
“We’re doing our best to ensure drivers can still get where they need to go while we get on and deliver this vital upgrade.”