13 September 2016

Contract awarded to upgrade next stage of Princes Highway

I am very pleased to announce that the contract to duplicate the Princes Highway between Armytage Road and Warncoort, as part of the Winchelsea to Colac duplication, has today been finalised.

BMD Constructions has been awarded the contract to duplicate approximately 15 kilometres of highway for the next stage (Stage 3) – between 1km west of Armytage Road (around 10km west of Winchelsea) and Warncoort.

Stage 3 includes the installation of two bridges over the Geelong-Warrnambool railway line.  An at-grade railway crossing near Warncoort-Birregurra Road will be replaced by two double lane bridges and the single lane railway bridge near Conns Lane, Winchelsea, will be duplicated to create two double lane bridges.  Construction is expected to begin in late 2016.

The first part of the Stage 1 works – to reseal Murray Street Colac from Bruce Street to Corangamite Street – was completed in June 2015.  This stage also involves upgrading the bridge over the Geelong-Warrnambool railway line in East Colac which is currently  underway.  The bridge over Barongarook Creek will also be replaced.

Stage 2 of works is contracted and is now underway and involves the duplication of 11.5 kilometres of the Princes Highway from Deans Marsh Road, Winchelsea to Armytage Rd.  As part of this stage, new intersections at Mousley Road, Ondit Road, McDonalds Lane, Robertson Road, Ingleby Road and Armytage Road will be created.

Stage 4 construction, which has not yet commenced, involves duplicating 8.5km of the Princes Highway from Wancoort to Baillie Street, East Colac.  pre-construction activities, including detailed design and land acquisition will be conducted during 2016 and early 2017.  improvements will be made to 6 intersections at Bourkes/Trasks Road, Pyles Road, Warrowie/Collins Road, Colac-Ballarat/Drapers Rd, Flaxmill Rd and Gallop/Baillie St.

VicRoads advises that the duplication between Winchelsea and Colac will be completed by the end of 2019, six months later than was originally promised.  This is very concerning.  We cannot see a repeat of the unacceptable delays in construction which occurred on the duplication project between Waurn Ponds and Winchelsea.

The duplication of the Princes Highway between Waurn Ponds and Winchelsea has been a massive boost for our region, along with an upgrade through Winchelsea and new two lane bridge which has transformed the town.

I am so proud that the Turnbull Government is delivering this infrastructure project for the people of Corangamite.  Since 2009, I have campaigned for the Princes Highway duplication and it wonderful to see yet another stage of the project underway.  The Princes Highway is a road to somewhere very special, not the road to nowhere as The Age newspaper so wrongly claimed.

The Princes Highway is the main road link between Melbourne, south-west Victoria and South Australia, carrying more than 8,000 vehicles each day, including 1,500 trucks.  Duplicating this road is vital for jobs, agriculture, tourism, small business and for the growth and prosperity of south-west Victoria, particularly Colac.

The Federal Government has committed $181.5m towards the Princes Highway duplication between Winchlsea and Colac, with matching funding being provided by the Victorian Government.

13 September 2016