The Princes Highway duplication has reached a major milestone with the opening of a new section between Wurruk and Sale.
The new 1.3 kilometre section consists of six new road bridges across the Sale Causeway which will ultimately become the west-bound carriageway of the highway.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, said the opening of the new section would pave the way for further works.
“From today, as part of the staging of works, traffic will be diverted onto the new section between Settlement Road, Wurruk and the Visitor Information Centre at Sale,” Mr Albanese said.
“All traffic will be transferred to the new section south of the existing alignment where there will continue to be one lane in each direction. This diversion will remain in place until the existing alignment is finished.”
“These latest improvements have been completed just in time for the holiday season, when there will be increased visitor traffic on the road. Over time, this project will reduce travel times for motorists and reduce travel costs for the local dairy, timber, paper and gas production industries.”
Victorian Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder said as the primary route between Melbourne and Gippsland, the Princes Highway plays a vital role in supporting local tourism and service industries as well as access to the RAAF base at Sale.
“In regional Victoria our major highways are more than transport links; they connect communities, support jobs and drive regional growth,” Mr Mulder said.
“The Princes Highway upgrade between Traralgon and Sale was identified as a key priority project under the VicRoads Princes Highway East Corridor Strategy.”
“This is an important milestone in this project and I’m sure the local community will be pleased with the progress to date and look forward to works continuing into next year.”
Completion of the Wurruk to Sale section of the project is expected to be in the first half of 2013.
This $175 million project to duplicate sections of the Princes Highway from Traralgon to Sale is jointly funded by the Australian ($140 million) and Victorian governments ($35 million).