Work on the Colac section of the duplication of the Princes Highway from Winchelsea is almost complete and the entire project is on schedule to be completed by mid-2019.
Major Road Projects Authority project director Tim Price said it was “progressively opening sections as we complete them – reducing delays and improving travel times for drivers between Winchelsea and Colac.”
Work has been completed on the final section between Colac East and Colac apart from the $11.33 million upgrade of the Barongarook Creek Bridge in Colac.
Work on the first section between Deans Marsh Road Winchelsea to Armytage Road was finished six months ahead of schedule and is already being used by motorists.
Construction is still underway on the two middle sections between Armytage Road and Warncoort, and Warncoort to Colac East.
The $363 million project will duplicate more than 35 kilometres of the Princes Highway.
It will involve the construction of 20 new intersections, new bridges over the rail line at two locations and designated left and right turn lanes off the highway.
It will also provide flexible safety barriers on the road edge and in the median, and extensive landscaping including planting more than 10,000 local indigenous trees.
The project is being jointly funded by the federal and state governments. It follows on from the duplication of the Geelong to Colac section of the highway that was completed in 2016.
The upgrades attracted controversy in 2016 with the Grattan Institute think tank claiming the duplications were among the most expensive in the national road network when the number of vehicles that travelled the highway was considered.
The duplications go through the federal seat of Corangamite, one of Australia’s most marginal, and its member Sarah Henderson said the projects would not only improve road safety but drive investment and jobs in the region.