THREE notoriously potholed south-west roads — including a section of the Hopkins Highway — will be upgraded following a state cash injection yesterday.
Nearly $8 million will be spent to improve the road along the Hopkins Highway near Purnim, seven locations along the Henty Highway near Hamilton and two spots on the Glenelg Highway near Dunkeld and Coleraine.
It follows an earlier $10m injection for road repairs.
Premier Denis Napthine visited Purnim yesterday to inspect where $1.78 million will be spent upgrading road pavement between Bryan O’Lynn and South Framlingham roads.
It is understood the work will cover 2600 metres of road surface and is expected to start following a prolonged period of dry weather, possibly in October.
Dr Napthine said a decade-long drought had hidden neglect by the previous state government. “This funding will go directly towards a full road restoration which isn’t just a simple patch-up job — it will take time,” the Premier said.
“This represents a significant upgrade of the Hopkins Highway. At the moment, only temporary work can take place because of the wet weather. We welcome the rain, it’s essential for our dairy industry, for our meat production, but it has the side-effect of damaging roads and once conditions improve, then roadwork will start.”
More than $2 million will be spent to upgrade the Hamilton Highway, $1.2 million at Hexham and Lismore and a further $945,000 near Caramut.
Four kilometres of rough surface along the Henty Highway will also be upgraded as part of the state government spend, with $3 million allocated to sections of the highway near Cavendish, Branxholme and Hamilton.
State Transport Minister Terry Mulder acknowledged that south-west Victoria’s roads had been badly damaged by wet weather in recent years.
“There’s no doubt that the roads across the district have been hammered in the past few years,” Mr Mulder said.
“More and more people travelling between Geelong and Warrnambool, or towns in between, use the Hamilton then the Hopkins highways, so this funding goes towards improving roads which have experienced increased use in recent times.”
Two locations along the Glenelg Highway will also be upgraded as part of the $8 million south-west roads package with $780,000 spent on improving the road surface at Dunkeld and Muntham, located between Casterton and Coleraine.