Sep 9, 2009

Alliance to deliver new Anthonys Cutting Freeway route

Alliance to deliver new Anthonys Cutting Freeway route

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 9 2009

Construction of the new $200 million Western Freeway route between Melton and Bacchus Marsh is one step closer, with VicRoads alliance partners announced today.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas said that John Holland and AECOM would join VicRoads to build new freeway connection through Anthony’s Cutting.

“Preconstruction activities are already in full swing on site and the selection of the alliance partner is a vital step in the full delivery of the project,” Mr Albanese said.

“This project will provide a significant boost the economy, with it expected to support more than 1000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

“This is what the Rudd Labor Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan is all about, creating jobs today while building the infrastructure we need for tomorrow.

“In building this safer and more efficient freeway connection, we will eliminate the tight curves and low-speed section of the Western Highway through Anthony’s Cutting, which has seen 21 casualty crashes over the last five years.

“More than 29,000 vehicles per day, including more than 4,000 freight vehicles travel this section of the highway between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, which forms part of our national highway link between Melbourne and Adelaide.

Mr Pallas said the Western Highway realignment is a key project in the Rudd Labor Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan and was identified in the Brumby Labor Government’s $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.

“The Rudd Labor Government and the Brumby Labor Government are taking action now to invest in Victoria’s road network, creating thousands of jobs and providing important safety benefits for local communities,” Mr Pallas said.

“When completed, the new Western Freeway route will deliver major economic benefits for the road freight industry and its customers. Significant travel time and cost savings can be expected for goods and produce transported between Melbourne, Ballarat, western Victoria and beyond.

“The new freeway alignment south of the existing highway will extend for five kilometres between Harkness Road, Melton West and Bacchus Marsh Road in Bacchus Marsh.

“A new interchange will also be provided from Woolpack Road, which will be extended north from Bacchus Marsh Road, with connections on and off the Western Freeway in each direction.

“The Woolpack Road interchange and associated road links will improve safety and important freight movements between regional centres.”

Local road overpasses will link Bulmans Road and Clarkes Road at Melton West, with an overpass carrying Hopetoun Park Road across the freeway. Bridges will carry the freeway over Djerriwarrh Creek, Cowans Road and Pyrites Creek, with a new bridge spanning the Lerderderg River as part of the Woolpack Road extension.

In response to community feedback, options are also being investigated for Melbourne-bound ramps at Hopetoun Park Road to improve local access in this area.

Mr Pallas said with major bridgeworks required in local terrain, as well as challenging environmental and geological considerations, it made sense to deliver the project through an alliance partnership.

“This will help achieve the best engineering innovation while completing works in a timely manner,” he said.

Major construction is scheduled to commence early 2010 with the completion of the project scheduled for early 2012.