REGION - The Western Highway upgrade reached two major milestones on Tuesday with a contract for more than $95 million awarded to Lend Lease for the section between Beaufort and Buangor and expressions of interest being called for the construction of the Buangor Bypass.
Premier Denis Napthine announced the $95 million contract for Section 2A, which will deliver 15 kilometres of road duplication for the Western Highway between Beaufort and Buangor, has been awarded to Lend Lease.
“These works are an important part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s co-investment with the Australian Government for the $505 million Western Highway Project which is supporting 480 jobs,” Dr Napthine said.
“This investment delivers key safety benefits for Western Highway road users with the duplication from Ballarat to Buangor and the Buangor Bypass.
It also provides important planning work for the future duplication from Buangor to Stawell.”
Works on Section 2A project between Beaufort and Buangor are scheduled to start in mid-2014 and will see the construction of an additional carriageway so that there will be two lanes in each direction separated by a centre median.
“The works include the construction of a grade separated interchange at Eurambeen-Streatham Road, new bridges at Fiery Creek, bridges ove Charleycombe Creek and Middle Creek,” Dr Napthine said.
“I am also pleased to announce that we are going through an expressions of interest process for the construction of a Buangor Bypass as part of this project.
"This bypass was not part of the original project scope, but thanks to good project management, we have been able to deliver this fantastic added benefit for Western Victorian road users."
Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs, who visited Ararat last week, was pleased to confirm the Australian Government's $404 million contribution to the duplication of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Stawell.
"The construction of a Buangor Bypass will complement these works with the alignment ensuring that freight impacts on the township are minimised and heritage sites are avoided," Mr Briggs said.
"Once a preferred contractor is selected to construct this bypass, work is expected to start onsite next summer. Once completed, these upgrades will reduce travel times and improve road safety for more than 5,500 vehicles that use this highway each day."
The installation of electronic message signs at four sites on the Western Highway will also be complete - Two sites being delivered as part of the duplication project and two being delivered as part of the Stawell to South Australian Border upgrade.
A contract for these works is expected to be awarded in the coming months.
Minister for Roads and Public Transport,Terry Mulder said these were key developments in the upgrade to this strategic highway.
"Delivery of these projects is yet another example that both Governments are actively working towards making our roads safer and significantly improving traffic flow and freight efficiency through the region," he said.