A MAJOR milestone for the Western Highway duplication project was reached yesterday, with the installation of beams that will form an overpass over the Avenue of Honour.
A total of 10 beams, each weighing more than 73 tonnes have already begun being lifted into position.
Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay said reinstating part of the Avenue of Honour had been a high priority.
He said drivers would notice the distinct red retaining wall panels which preserve the visual integrity of the avenue and list the battles of World War I and the units that served.
VicRoads project manager Michael McCarthy said the duplication to Beaufort was due to be finished by the end of the year.
“It (the installation of the beams) is another major milestone for the project,” he said.
“It means we will be able to connect Remembrance Drive from the north to south.
“It is fantastic for the community and it is part of Ballarat’s heritage that will be enhanced through our works.”
Funding for the entire Western Highway duplication project is yet to be obtained, with Mr McCarthy saying $505 million was guaranteed so far, which would take the construction to the western side of Buangor.
However, a delegation of western Victorian councils and Western Victoria MP David O’Brien are currently in Canberra lobbying for more funding.
Mr Ramsay said it was important to keep pressure up.
“As the local member I will be doing everything I can to push the federal government to allocate funding both in their budget and in their forward estimates for the continuation of upgrading and duplicating the Western Highway,” he said.
The contract for construction section of the road between Beaufort and Buangor is expected to be awarded soon.