Mar 16, 2010

Early start for Nagambie Bypass major works

Early start for Nagambie Bypass major works

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 16 2010

Major construction work has started on the Nagambie Bypass several months ahead of schedule, with an upgraded and safer freeway route one step closer to taking trucks and through-traffic away from the Nagambie town centre.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today welcomed the early start of construction on the 13.5 kilometre bypass to the east of the Nagambie township.

“The Rudd and Brumby Labor Governments are working together to give contractors AbiGroup every opportunity to finish this important piece of road infrastructure ahead of schedule,” Mr Albanese said.

“We have already brought forward the awarding of the two multi-million dollar contracts, and I am glad to see major construction has been fast-tracked following the early start of works between Kirwans Bridge-Longwood Road and Weir Road last December.

“The bypass will provide a great boost for transport in the area, including major benefits for the fruit and vegetable-growing industries that depend on the highway for access to interstate and export markets via the national highway.

“This project is exactly what our Nation Building Program is all about, creating jobs today by building the transport infrastructure that will underpin our longer term economic prosperity."

Mr Pallas said as part of the second stage of works, boom gates had already been installed and were operating at the busy Racecourse Road level crossing to improve local road and rail safety in Nagambie.

“The Racecourse Road level crossing is the first crossing to have boom gates in Nagambie and it is a substantial boost to road and rail safety in the area,” Mr Pallas said.

“Work on this next stage is a big undertaking, with six bridges and freeway connections at Mitchellstown Road and Kirwans Bridge-Longwood Road included as part of the project.

“Over the next two years, a significant number of jobs will be created by this project, many of which will be filled by people in the Nagambie and Greater Shepparton region.”

When completed in 2012, the Nagambie Bypass will provide a missing link with drivers able to travel on a safer freeway-standard road from Melbourne to Shepparton. Truck drivers will also benefit from being able to maintain a consistent 110km/h speed between Melbourne and Shepparton, rather than negotiating different speed zones.

“With more than 1900 trucks travelling through Nagambie each day and road freight likely to double over the next 30 years, this bypass will significantly alleviate the impact on the town centre,” Mr Pallas said.

The Nagambie Bypass will also boost road safety, with 18 serious accidents recorded in recent years on the existing two-lane highway section being bypassed, including four fatalities.

The project is jointly funded by the Federal Government as part of its Nation Building Program and the Victorian Government through the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.