Victorian roads minister Tim Pallas has announced the Arcadia section of the Goulburn Valley Highway is complete and open to traffic.
The Arcadia section, a $40.5 million project fully funded by the Federal Government, offers an additional 11 km dual carriageway and rest area.
Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said the newly-opened section of the highway would enhance traffic flow and cut travel time along the transport link between the Goulburn Valley, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Mr Albanese said: “The Highway carries 6,500 vehicles per day, including more than 2,000 commercial vehicles. It forms part of the National Highway route between Melbourne and Brisbane and is recognised as the main freight route serving Melbourne, Shepparton and Brisbane.
“Upgrading the safety and efficiency of the Goulburn Valley Highway will reduce the cost of interstate freight movements between Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.”
Mr Pallas said the establishment of the high-standard road network would play a pivotal role in realising the value of the region’s fruit exports, benefiting both commercial traffic and the local community.
The project was delivered by VicRoads and contractor Cut and Fill. The total government funding for the Goulburn Valley Highway project is $216 million.
With the first stage of the Dynon port rail link project completed, the outbound lanes of the new Footscary Road overpass will open to traffic this weekend.
Victorian roads and ports minister Tim Pallas announced the level crossing on Appleton Dock Road will be removed when the newly constructed overpass is opened to traffic.
The project is to separate road and rail access to the Port of Melbourne, reducing congestion on Footscary Road and enhancing safety at a major road and rail bottleneck.
“Currently the Port’s only rail access is via a single dual-gauge track crossing Footscray Road. This project will see the existing rail line relocated and replaced with two new dual gauge rail lines into the Port of Melbourne from the Dynon terminal precinct,” Mr Pallas said.
“The extra rail capacity and traffic overpass will increase the amount of freight that can be carried directly to the port, helping to secure Melbourne’s position as the largest and most efficient container port in Australia.”
Mr Pallas said with the Channel Deepening Project progressing well, it was essential that the appropriate landside infrastructure was in place to support freight movement.
“Work will now commence on stage two of the Dynon port rail link project, which will involve construction of the new city-bound bridge on Footscray Road,” he said.
The city-bound bridge is expected to be opened to traffic in early 2009.