Dec 17, 2009

Tenders called for new trailer exchange at Nhill

Tenders called for new trailer exchange at Nhill

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 17 2009

Construction of the new $11.4 million trailer exchange on the Western Highway at Nhill is set to get underway next year with companies interested in building the first stage of a truck rest stop encouraged to submit a bid under the tender process.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today confirmed work on the multi-million project would get underway early in the new year, providing truck operators with bigger, better and safer facility as a halfway point between Adelaide and Melbourne.

“Located in Nhill, the existing trailer exchange is too small with only 23 vehicle spaces. As a result, some truck drivers are forced to swap trailers in local streets, particularly late at night or in the early hours of the morning,” Mr Albanese said.

“Once completed, the new site will provide space for up to 100 trucks at any one time. What’s more, it will be located further away from the township of Nhill.

“The Rudd Labor Government has been working with the trucking industry, as well as state and territory governments, to provide safer, more modern rest stops along the nation’s highways.

“We’re currently making the biggest single federal investment in the roadside facilities used by truck drivers, including new and refurbished rest stops, parking bays and decoupling areas.”

Victorian Roads Minister Tim Pallas said the first stage of the Nhill project involved construction of lanes entering and exiting the new site, with the second stage – expected to start mid-2010 – being the design and construction of the trailer exchange itself.

Mr Pallas said a 2008 study conducted by VicRoads found more than 1000 trucks passed through Nhill daily, with about 250 of them needing to exchange trailers.

“Nhill is an ideal location for this new facility. It allows drivers carrying loads between Melbourne and Adelaide the opportunity to swap their trailers at the halfway point and return home the same day. They can use the facility as a place to take a break and stretch their legs,” he said.

The new truck facility at Nhill is being delivered in addition to the $50 million program to improve safety along the Western Highway between Stawell and the South Australian border, with work on additional overtaking lanes west of Kaniva also set to get underway early in the New Year.