TENDERS for construction of the 12-kilometre section of the Western Highway between Buangor and Ararat, which was recently funded in this year’s federal budget for further duplication, will be called for later this year.
Construction would then be expected to begin on this latest section of road in early 2016.
VicRoads acting project director Nicki Kyriakou said the upgrades made throughout the entire project would go a long way to addressing the highway’s history of crashes.
She said in the five years prior to December 2014 there had been 79 crashes between Ballarat and Stawell on the highway including 11 fatalities.
The duplication of the highway between Burrumbeet and Beaufort is now almost complete.
“This section is expected to finish mid-2015, with construction activities including bridge construction at Trawalla and linemarking moving into the final stages,” he said.
“These works included construction of a four-lane highway, a new bypass south of Trawalla township and a 177-metre-long bridge to carry the four lane highway over Mt Emu Creek and Trawalla Road.”
Construction works between Beaufort and Buangor are expected to be completed in the middle of next year.
“Major earthworks have been required at Boxes Cutting where the new duplicated road deviates north from the existing alignment to remove the steep grade through the cutting,” Ms Kyriakou said.
“Motorists will soon move on to a newly constructed section of the highway to allow for the upgrade of the existing highway.”
Works on the bypass around Buangor, which began in March this year, will also include three new bridges over Billy Billy Creek, new service roads to maintain local access and road connections to Buangor.
“A recent achievement for this section was the revising of the design at Peacocks Road to minimise large old tree removal,” Ms Kyriakou said.
“VicRoads and its contractor have recently assessed the design and have managed to reduce the number of large old trees to be removed.”