There's still no date for when much-needed upgrade works will begin at a dangerous section of the Western Freeway at Pykes Creek, almost two years after funding was committed.
In July 2020, the state and federal governments committed $5 million to "fast-track" an upgrade to the Ballarat-bound lanes, which have a notorious upward curve.
Regional Roads Victoria noted last year there had been 11 casualty crashes at that section of the freeway between July 2014 and June 2019, including one death and nine people receiving serious injuries.
The initial plan was to "smooth" the curves, so they would be safe enough to remove the current 90km/h speed advisory signs that are now in place.
In January, it was revealed costs had jumped from $5 million to $13.5 million, with the "Australian Government is contributing $10.8 million and the Victorian Government is contributing $2.7 million," according to the federal Department of Infrastructure website.
According to the state government, the project remains in the design phase, with more information to be shared when the program schedule is finalised - no timeframe was given on when this will be, though in January it was "later this year".
Other works are under way on the Western Highway, including a study with the Australian Road Research Board on the road between Ballarat and Beaufort.
This 34.5 kilometre stretch has been resurfaced several times since it first opened in 2016, frustrating drivers.
The road will under go analysis and testing to assess the road condition, to help identify future treatments, according to the state government.
In the meantime, there are roadworks under way at Trawalla, Lake Burrumbeet, Gordon, and Leigh Creek, all expected to be complete in the next few weeks, while patching at Myrniong is also expected to be finished in the next fortnight.
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There will also be repair and resurfacing works around Miners Rest and Mitchell Park, as part of a larger program in the state's west to Kaniva.
"We have spent more than $1 million in the past few weeks to maintain and repair sections of the Western Highway," a Department of Transport spokesperson said in a statement.
"The safety of all road users is our number one priority, which is why our crews are out across the network every day monitoring the road condition and ensuring any required maintenance is addressed."
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