The upgrade of the two bridges over the Wimmera River along the Western Highway in Horsham will begin early next month following the awarding of the project contract to Cut and Fill Pty Ltd.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the $4.26 million, jointly funded project will strengthen the two bridges – extending the life of both and making sure truck drivers can continue to use this direct route between Melbourne and the State’s western region.
“A vital link connecting the northern and southern suburbs of Horsham, these two bridges are used by as many as 23,000 cars and trucks each and every day,” said Mr Albanese.
“As well as strengthening works, the project will also widen the existing traffic lanes on both bridges and provide better, safer access for pedestrians and cyclists, including the installation of safety barriers.
“This project is part of the unprecedented $500 million we’re investing in the Western Highway, which is more than four times what our predecessors spent on this road during their entire twelve years in office.”
Recently completed improvements to the Western Highway include the strengthening of the bridge over the rail line at Wail; upgrades to the major rest areas at Deep Lead and Pink Lake; the construction of a new trailer exchange outside Nhill; and the completion of seven new overtaking lanes.
Victorian Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder said preconstruction activities such as the widening of the footways and completion of pavement works in the centre medium were already underway.
“Expected to take twelve months to complete, the project will be delivered in two stages with the closure of one bridge at a time,” said Mr Mulder
“Victoria is proud of its reputation as a freight and logistics hub, possessing some of Australia’s most valuable assets including the nation’s biggest container port and largest concentration of road transport providers.
“That’s why the Victorian Coalition Government is investing a record $5.6 billion in infrastructure including projects such as this, which support our growing freight task and maintain our competitive advantage.”