High­way work back on track

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Con­struc­tion to du­pli­cate the West­ern High­way be­tween Buan­gor and Ararat will restart in 2018, fol­low­ing the ap­proval of a new plan­ning amend­ment al­low­ing works to pro­ceed.

Roads and Road Safety Min­is­ter Luke Don­nel­lan an­nounced a con­trac­tor would soon be ap­pointed to get the vi­tal safety project back up and run­ning this month.

Work stopped on the site in Fe­bru­ary last year af­ter the orig­i­nal In­cor­po­rated Doc­u­ment for con­struc­tion of the 12.5-kilo­me­tre sec­tion of the project ex­pired.

Work can now re­sume to du­pli­cate the high­way to two lanes in each di­rec­tion, with ad­di­tional turn­ing lanes, a new bridge over the rail­way line, two new bridges over the Hop­kins River and an in­ter­change at Hill­side Road.

The West­ern High­way is the main road link be­tween Mel­bourne and Ade­laide with more than 6500 driv­ers, in­clud­ing 1500 truck driv­ers, us­ing the sec­tion of high­way daily.

In the five years to De­cem­ber 2015, eight peo­ple lost their lives in crashes on the West­ern High­way and 54 peo­ple were se­ri­ously in­jured.

Mr Don­nel­lan said the sig­nif­i­cant safety over­haul would save lives and make trans­port and trade more ef­fi­cient be­tween Ade­laide and Mel­bourne.

“We’re build­ing a bet­ter West­ern High­way to sup­port com­mu­ni­ties and the re­gional econ­omy across West­ern Vic­to­ria,” he said.

“Driv­ers are see­ing the ben­e­fits of 55 kilo­me­tres of the West­ern High­way that’s al­ready been du­pli­cated and we’re pleased to restart works on the sec­tion to Ararat.”

Con­struc­tion of sec­tion 2b is ex­pected to take about two years to com­plete. The works are part of a $672-mil­lion Aus­tralian and Vic­to­rian govern­ment-funded project.

Mem­ber for West­ern Vic­to­ria Jaala Pulford wel­comed the an­nounce­ment.

“The con­struc­tion of the 12.5-kilo­me­tre sec­tion be­tween Buan­gor and Ararat is the next step in de­liv­er­ing a safer, more ef­fi­cient con­nec­tion be­tween Bal­larat and Stawell that our lo­cal com­mu­nity needs,” she said.

“Driv­ers on ru­ral roads are four times more likely to die in an ac­ci­dent – that’s why we’re making the West­ern High­way safer.”

Hor­sham de­lays

Work­ers are com­plet­ing as­phalt main­te­nance on Hor­sham roads, caus­ing de­lays to driv­ers.

The works will be car­ried out in stages and in some cases, short de­tours might be nec­es­sary while freshly laid as­phalt cools.

Speed re­stric­tions and vari­able mes­sage boards will be in place across work sites at the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions: • West­ern High­way be­tween Wawunna Road and High Street North, un­til Jan­uary 17. • Wim­mera High­way be­tween Gar­de­nia Street and Fire­brace Street, from Jan­uary 18 to 19. • Wim­mera High­way, Dar­lot Street round­about, from Jan­uary 22 to 24.

Dates are sub­ject to change, depend­ing on weather and other con­di­tions.

Mes­sage boards ad­vis­ing im­mi­nent works will be in place at each site three days be­fore works start.

Vicroads lead­ers have urged all driv­ers to take care when trav­el­ling through road­works.

Peo­ple can visit traf­fic.vicroads.vic.gov.au or down­load the Victraf­fic app via app store for the lat­est traf­fic in­for­ma­tion across the state.

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