Every person living in western Victoria knows what it's like driving up from the Pykes Creek reservoir bridge.
The twisting climb often involves overtaking trucks moving into a slower left lane, and despite speed advisory signs, cars scream through on the right.
Sometimes, a car moving much slower than you is coming out of the left lane when you get to the top of the hill, and you don't see it until it's almost too late.
It's a riskier proposition when it's raining, and there's often fog in the area.
In the five years from July 1 2014 to June 30 2019, there were 11 casualty crashes along the Ballarat-bound section - nine people were seriously injured, eight others received other injuries, and one young man, Nik Barbara, died.
Mr Barbara's family has welcomed news that the road will be upgraded, with a $5 million commitment from the state and federal governments.
In July 12, 2016, Mr Barbara, 21, was 10 minutes from his home in Ballan when the collision occurred - he was killed instantly and his car caught fire.
His mother Sharon said she still misses him painfully.
"Nikolas had so much to live for, hunting, fishing, and loving everyday," she said in a statement.
"You never think it'll happen to you, 10 minutes from home, but it can and still sadly happens."
After the accident, she led a campaign to improve the road, including a petition which quickly gained more than 2000 signatures.
Almost four years to the day since the incident, she said she is "elated" to know something will be done.
"It won't bring Nikolas back, however I'd like to think everyone who participated in the previous petition and their support has made a huge difference to this eventuating," she said.
"Approaching Nik's fourth anniversary on July 12, It's a win to hopefully prevent another fatality.
"I may not live in Victoria any more, however we all know a lot of people who travel this road daily. Be patient when this (upgrade) begins, and understand it's truly needed."
Nik's brother Harley said the family will "breathe a bit easier".
"After Mum initiated a petition that gained over 2000 signatures, we were sure that others shared the same sentiment," he said.
"$5 million is a great start and any improvement to road safety is always welcome.
"Nothing can prepare you for the phone-call of the loss of a loved one. It can be a planned road-trip or 10 minutes from home like us.
"All we can ever hope for is that other families never have to experience the sudden loss of a family member we experienced four years ago, and the ongoing pain we all experience daily.
"Hopefully any upgrade to the roads can manage a bit more risk, and mitigate a bit more of the luck people rely on when traveling."
Announced on Monday, the funding is part of a multi-million dollar spend on infrastructure upgrades across Victoria.
According to the state government, more than 20,000 vehicles use that stretch of the freeway every day.
Regional Roads Victoria's western regional director Michael Bailey said in a statement a number of works will take place on the freeway.
"This funding will enable us to straighten the Ballarat-bound lanes west of Pykes Creek reservoir by smoothing a series of tight curves, making it more suitable for the 110km/h speed limit," he said.
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"We'll also be installing flexible roadside safety barriers and widening the road, making it safer for tens of thousands of drivers each day."
Additional passing lanes are not included as a part of this project, however, once these works have been carried out, the existing 90km/h advisory signage will be able to be removed.
Construction is expected to begin in March 2021.
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