An alliance of western Victorian councils has appointed a leading Victorian traffic engineering consultant to do an urgent assessment of the work needed to upgrade the Princes Highway between Colac and the South Australian border.
The Princes Highway West Action Alliance (PHWAA) of councils said the results of the Traffix Group investigations would more clearly define the scope, priorities and costs of the upgrade works required for the 297 kilometre stretch of the highway.
PHWAA spokesperson Scott Cavanagh said while the highway west of Colac had been subject to increased and changed usage over recent years, it had been almost two decades since the last VicRoads strategy for the highway was produced.
“Tragically nine road fatalities since 2012, scores of serious injuries and too many near misses mean our communities just can’t afford to wait any longer for urgently needed upgrade funding,” he said.
“The state government needs to work out whether duplication of the highway, more overtaking lanes, a ‘2 plus 1’ treatment, or combination of all of these is the best option.
The state government needs to work out whether duplication of the highway, more overtaking lanes, a ‘2 plus 1’ treatment, or combination of all of these is the best option.Scott Cavanagh
“In order to approach both state and federal governments for the funding needed to improve this key route, we obviously need to start with up to date information about where our biggest challenges are, and what those rectification works could cost.”
The PHWAA consists of Warrnambool City Council, Moyne Shire, Corangamite Shire and Colac Otway Shire.
Mr Cavanagh said the councils believed it would cost about $300 million to improve key problem areas such as the Blue Church intersection (west of Colac), the Colac West to Stonyford section, the Warrnambool to Port Fairy (Tower Hill entry) section, the Great Ocean Road (Allansford) to Hopkins River section as well as provide more passing and overtaking opportunities throughout the entire highway section.