18 November 2016

Major step towards a safer Princes Highway

Today I visited the Princes Highway to inspect road construction between Winchelsea and Armytage as part of the Australian and Victorian government’s $363m project to duplicate the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Colac.

This $55m stage of the project involves the duplication of 11.5 kilometres of the Princes Highway from Deans Marsh Road, Winchelsea to Armytage Rd. 

The upgrading of the bridge over the Geelong-Warrnambool railway line in East Colac is now complete. 

Large excavators are beginning to change the landscape along the highway just west of Winchelsea and the road is beginning to take shape.

Two lanes in each direction will provide a safer and more reliable journey for everyone, building on the benefits being experienced by drivers using the duplicated highway between Geelong and Winchelsea.

The bridge just east of Colac has also been made stronger and safer, with contractors applying carbon fibre to the underside of the structure.  New concrete barriers have been installed on both sides of the bridge and the road has been resurfaced making the drive smoother.

As we head into summer, people will see more road workers and activity along the highway. In the coming months, contractors will continue construction on the 11.5 kilometre first section between Winchelsea and Armytage with construction on the 15 kilometre stage between Armytage and Warncoort expected to begin towards the end of 2016.

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 through to Colac.  Since 2009, I have campaigned for the Princes Highway duplication and it wonderful to see yet another stage of the project underway.

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 now complete. 

The second part of Stage 1 works is 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 2 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.

Stage 3 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 six intersections at Bourkes/Trasks Road, Pyles Road, Warrowie/Collins Road, Colac-Ballarat/Drapers Rd, Flaxmill Rd and Gallop/Baillie St.

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 Winchelsea and Colac, with matching funding being provided by the Victorian Government.

18 November 2016