Victoria Minister for Roads Terry Mulder
Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King
Anthonys Cutting Realignment Delivered Nine Months Early
Victor P Taffa
The tight curves and steep hills on the Western Highway through Anthonys Cutting will be a thing of the past with the project to realign the infamous section of the highway completed nine months ahead of schedule.
Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder joined Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, and local residents at a Community Open Day to celebrate the completion of the project.
“This is a significant achievement and today is a wonderful opportunity for the local community to take a close-up look at the road before it opens to traffic on Monday, weather permitting.” Mr. Mulder said.
“There has been a history of crashes through this difficult stretch of road. The new freeway will provide safer road conditions and with a more direct alignment and a 110 km/h speed limit, it will also reduce travel times and transport costs.”
Ms. King said the project was great news for everyone who travels the Western Highway between Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat.
“It is remarkable that the project has taken only 18 months to complete with the new alignment opening to traffic nine months ahead of schedule.” Ms. King said.
“This has been made possible thanks to the funding brought forward by the Federal Government as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan and the swift progression is a credit to the project team and all the crew involved.”
“I am pleased we are delivering this critical election commitment for Western Victoria and this vital infrastructure project will go a long way to reducing congestion and improving road safety.”
“This is great news for the 29,000 vehicles including more than 4,000 trucks which will be using this section of road every day.” Ms. King said.
From Monday 27 June road users will experience a seamless transition between the new and old freeway. The new road surface requires temporary speed restrictions during the first 7 to 10 days of use to condition the road as the 110 km/h limit is introduced. A final seal will be placed on the road in early 2012.
After the new freeway is open to traffic, construction works will take place on the old Western Highway (Anthonys Cutting) to connect Bacchus Marsh Road in Bacchus Marsh to High Street in Melton. As a result sections of the old Western Highway will be closed.
The Federal Government has invested $160 Million in the Western Highway Anthonys Cutting Realignment, with the Victorian Government providing the remaining $40 Million.