DUPLICATION of the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Waurn Ponds will be completed later this year, although no specific date has been set.
A three-kilometre section of the highway north of Lake Modewarre was opened to traffic last week, the first section of the dual carriageway to be put to use.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the development followed on from the opening of the Geelong Ring Road extension, which connects the existing four-lane freeway on to the Princes Highway and circumvents the winding entrance into Waurn Ponds.
“Traffic has moved from the existing carriageway to the new carriageway allowing VicRoads’ contractors to upgrade the existing lanes,” Mr Mulder said.
“Motorists will continue to travel the highway with reduced speed limits in place and are asked to drive with care as traffic will be travelling in both directions on the new carriageway.”
Significant work is also being undertaken at the rail underpass east of Winchelsea, with construction of two new westbound lanes.
VicRoads project director Tony Hedley said the roads board would continue to open up small sections of the dual highway project with the initiative on course for completion later this year.
“Pavement works are taking place at a number of intersections between Geelong and Winchelsea concurrently with the installation of electrical conduits and street lighting,” he said in a statement.
Duplication of the next section of highway between Colac and Winchelsea was first flagged during the 2010 federal election with preliminary planning work already taking place.
Mr Hedley said VicRoads was set to award a construction contract later this year.