Second Major Contract Awarded for Geelong Road Upgrade

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Second Major Contract Awarded for Geelong Road Upgrade




Victorias first ever freeway, the Maltby Bypass, is set for a major

redevelopment with the second major contract awarded for the upgrading

of Geelong Road.

Acting Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, and Victorias

Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, jointly announced the awarding

of a $33 million contract to the Walter Construction Group.

“With works now underway at the Geelong-end of the freeway, this

contract which encompasses the bypass of Werribee, will begin soon,”

Mr Costello said.

“Federal funding for Geelong Road meets national economic transport

objectives. The route carries six million tonnes of freight annually,

much of this destined for export markets.

“Major industry groups operating in the area including Shell and

Ford Australia, stand to benefit significantly from the joint funding.

Emerging industries, such as the export of perishable produce from Avalon

Airport will be assisted also.

Benefits worth four dollars will flow from every one dollar spent widening

Geelong Road. Travel time and fuel efficiency savings alone will be of

the order of $50 million annually.

“More than 4000 direct and indirect jobs will be created.

“This is a significant next step in completing Victorias latest

Road of National Importance (RONI) project, Mr Costello said.

Mr Costello said the Commonwealth was committed to ensuring the project

was delivered in as timely a manner as possible and he wanted to ensure

the community received the earliest possible benefits.

“Transformation of Victorias first freeway, which opened in 1961

to bypass the then rural town of Werribee, will be a major step in enhancing

the road safety and national economic returns from the Geelong Road Project.

“Back then the original four-lane bypass carried about 8,000 vehicles

per day. Today more than 40,000 vehicles travel this route every day,

including many thousands of trucks and heavy transports.

“A modern high-standard route is vital with road transport operators

carrying manufactured goods and export produce from Geelong and locally,

as many nationally important industries are based in and around the thriving

City of Wyndham, which encompasses Werribee,” Mr Costello said.

Mr Batchelor said that the upgraded Maltby Bypass, which was originally

named after the then Minister for Public Works, Sir Thomas Maltby, will

be reconstructed to provide three lanes in each direction.

“The new road surface will give a smoother and safer ride and the

existing freeway curves will also be improved.

“Wire rope safety barriers will be used in the median along the

full 8.6 km length of the Maltby Bypass to prevent cross median accidents,”

said Mr Batchelor.

“Landscaping will also be an important part of the Project to create

a new and interesting journey for highway travellers, which will help

combat the high number of fatigue-related crashes.

“The landscaping plan will include feature markings on fencing and

road shoulders to identify local landmarks such as Victorias Open Range

Zoo at Werribee.

“The Geelong Road upgrading is a key project in the Bracks Governments

Linking Victoria program which is generating a $1.5 billion investment

in vital transport infrastructure over the next three years,” Mr

Batchelor said.

Mr Costello said the work to begin soon on the Maltby Bypass, is the

next step in the two-and-a-half year project to provide a safer and more

efficient freeway between Geelong and Melbourne.

“With both governments committed to the project and planning largely

completed, the reconstructed Geelong Road is scheduled for completion

in mid-2002,” he said.

“The Geelong Road will build further upon the jobs and growth created

in recent years as a result of major private and public transport infrastructure

investment in Victoria,” Mr Costello said.

26 April 2000

Media Contacts:

Mr Costellos Office Niki Savva 02 6277 7340

Mr Batchelors Office Paul Conroy 03 9651 1119

VicRoads Kevin Fox 0408 304 363