Apr 14, 2010

Works underway on first stage of Nhill truck stop

Works underway on first stage of Nhill truck stop

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

April 14 2010

The first stage of the $11.4 million new Nhill Trailer Exchange is now underway, with the start of construction of turning lanes on the Western Highway.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas announced today that works started this week following the appointment last month of P Miller Contractors to build the new turning lanes.

Mr Albanese said the new lanes, expected to be finished by the middle of this year, formed the first part of the project to build a bigger, better and safer trailer exchange in 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," Mr Albanese said.

"Depending on the final designs of the facility, up to 100 trucks at a time will be able to swap trailers at the halfway point between Adelaide and Melbourne.

"The new turning lanes will give drivers a safe area to manoeuvre their trucks when turning into and out of the trailer exchange site, which also means improved safety for other motorists travelling past the new facility on the Western Highway."

Mr Pallas said a 2008 VicRoads study found more than 1000 trucks passed through Nhill each day, with about 250 trucks exchanging trailers at Nhill in a 24-hour period.

"The existing trailer exchange has only 23 vehicle spaces forcing many truck drivers to swap trailers in local streets late at night or early in the morning," Mr Pallas said.

"The new trailer exchange will be located slightly further away from the Nhill township and will provide truck drivers with more spaces to swap their trailers.

"The Rudd and Brumby Labor Governments are working together to deliver improved transport links to make freight operations more efficient and deliver a better transport system for all Victorians."

A contract for the second stage of the project, to design and construct the trailer exchange site on the Western Highway, is expected to be awarded by the middle of 2010.

The 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.