Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, the Honourable Jacinta Allan.
Melbourne’s population continues to grow more than any other capital city, with 60 per cent of that growth happening in our outer suburbs. The western roads upgrade will improve eight main roads across the west. It will also repair and resurface 37 roads and strengthen seven structures, mostly bridges.
The project will make it quicker, easier and safer for all road users; give local businesses opportunities for growth by improving priority truck routes; improve access to jobs; and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, including three new overpasses along the Federation Trail.
My question to the minister is: can the minister provide an update on the progress of the western roads upgrade project and explain how the road closures during the summer period will contribute towards the timely delivery of this important project?
Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure):
The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be delivering the Western Roads Upgrade. Works are progressing well with the first of the eight road upgrade projects, Dunnings and Palmers Road Upgrade, opened to traffic on 16 December 2019. The remaining seven projects are all under construction and are scheduled to be completed by 2021, as committed.
The rehabilitation program commenced in mid-2018 and since then 28 of the 37 road rehabilitations projects across Melbourne’s west have been completed. The bridge rehabilitation program is also well underway; the Hyde Street bridge rehabilitation was completed in 2019 and there are four more bridge rehabilitations currently underway.
The planned road closures during the summer period has allowed works on a number of key locations within the Western Roads Upgrade to be undertaken far more quickly than would have been possible while maintaining traffic. An example of this is the Dohertys Road and Fitzgerald Road intersection, which was converted from a roundabout to a larger intersection with traffic lights in just over three weeks as compared to over three months of disruption that would Have eventuated at this location.