The billion dollar upgrade of Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road has reached yet another significant milestone with the opening of one new traffic lane in each direction between Sunshine Avenue and Furlong Road in St Albans.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said completed ahead of schedule, the new, extra lanes are part of the much wider upgrade which is widening key sections of the M80 to at least six lanes, with the entire project on track to be completed on time in mid-2014.
“The work that’s now underway along this vital commuter and freight route is
being delivered as part of Federal Labor’s record capital works program, which aims to ease congestion and keep Melbourne moving,” said Mr Albanese.
“Unlike our predecessors, we recognise the task of renewing and expanding the
City’s road and rail infrastructure requires a genuine partnership between all three levels of government. That’s why we’ve more than doubled annual Federal investment in the State from $89 to $201 per Victorian.
“As well as widening the road, we’re also installing the latest electronic freeway management technology to give VicRoads the tools to better manage traffic flows and ensure we get the most from the investment we’re making.”
The M80 Upgrade project is being jointly funded by the Federal ($900 million) and Victorian ($300 million) governments, with the Tilburn Road to Furlong Road section to be completed next year and the Edgars Road to Plenty Road section in 2014.
Victorian Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the extra lanes will
no doubt be welcomed by the 142,000 motorists and truck drivers that use the M80 each and every day.
“Once work on the Furlong and Tilburn Roads section is completed next year there will for the first time be four lanes in both directions, and as many as five Altona bound lanes from Ballarat Road to Tilburn Road. Together, they will help to further ease localised congestion,” said Mr Mulder.
“By installing extra lanes, redesigning key interchanges and making use of the latest technology, we’re rebuilding the M80 Melbourne’s second busiest road into a modern piece of road infrastructure able to support the City’s continued growth, not just for the next two years but for the next two decades.
“I again want to thank motorists for their patience while this work is being carried out.”