CONSTRUCTION work on Princes Highway duplication between Winchelsea and Colac is expected to start next year, Federal Parliament was told this week.
Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss told Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson this week in Parliament that planning for the second stage was well under way.
The state and federal governments have committed $515m to the Colac section and amendments to the Surf Coast Shire and Colac Otway Shire councils’ planning schemes are being finalised for public exhibition.
Meanwhile, VicRoads is still holding fast to its target to finish the $220 million first stage from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea by the end of 2014, despite contractors being delayed by wet weather.
“We have had above-average rainfall across the Princes Highway duplication project this year which has made construction conditions very challenging,” VicRoads’ project director Tony Hedley told The Standard.
“With summer now upon us hopefully providing ideal conditions for road construction, activities are expected to ramp up on site.
“In past months, contractor BMD Constructions has been focusing efforts on the bridge over the Geelong to Warrnambool railway line.
“It is anticipated that beams for the bridge will be installed early next year. VicRoads continues to target completion of this project in 2014, dependent on weather.”
A concept design for new public toilets at Winchelsea is complete and detailed design is under way.
Mr Truss also reaffirmed funding commitment to upgrading the Great Ocean Road.
“This is a major construction and upgrading project which has very significant benefits for the local community, tourism industry and those who want to visit those parts,” he said.