The biggest road maintenance blitz Victoria has ever seen will fix hundreds of regional roads, giving drivers safer, faster and more reliable journeys.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 allocates $941 million to get on with the job of fixing Victoria’s regional road network, saving lives and establishing a dedicated country roads body.
Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) will be a new division of VicRoads, based in Ballarat, with staff in regional centres across the state – giving regional Victorians roads they can rely on.
Led by a Chief Regional Roads Officer, RRV will oversee a $333 million boost to road maintenance, with more than 1,000 kilometres of roads to be repaired, resurfaced or rebuilt across the state.
In addition to the record maintenance spend, a $100 million Fixing Country Roads fund will be established to provide grants to rural and regional councils to fix their local roads.
The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to invest in road safety, with a further $229 million to save lives on Victoria’s most high-risk roads through the Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan, with new overtaking lanes, rumble strips and intersection upgrades.
The Budget also includes $98 million for planning and pre-construction of new bypasses on the Western Highway at Beaufort and Ararat, as well as $40 million to upgrade the Princes Highway West between Colac and the South Australian border.
Key sections of the Calder Highway, Hamilton Highway and the Kiewa Valley Highway will be upgraded to improve safety, travel times and freight productivity.
Ballarat’s iconic Sturt Street will get a series of intersection upgrades between Pleasant Street and Dyson Drive to reduce congestion and make it safer to access schools, shops and sports grounds.
A new roundabout will be constructed on the Shepparton Alternate Route to improve safety and access for
heavy vehicles, part of a $20 million investment to cater for future growth.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“This ground-breaking investment will upgrade regional roads right across the state and for the first time give our regional road network the direct attention it deserves.”
“We’re giving country Victorians safer and more reliable roads – since coming to office we’ve doubled spending on road maintenance and we’re fixing hundreds of regional roads across the state.”
“We’re making this record investment and establishing Regional Roads Victoria to reduce congestion, improve safety and support primary producers to get their goods to market.”