Preliminary construction works are underway on two of Melbourne’s busiest freeways, the M80 Ring Road and the Monash Freeway.
Geotechnical drilling has begun on the Sydney Road to Edgars Road section of the M80 Ring Road and the Second stage of the Monash Freeway Upgrade to improve connectivity for commuters across Victoria.
The $518 million upgrade to Sydney to Edgars roads is the fifth section to be improved as part of the upgrade of the M80 Ring Road.
It will enhance connections to major freeways and interstate links, including the Hume Freeway, future North East Link, Princes and West Gate Freeways and the future West Gate Tunnel.
Geotechnical works aim to shape the final designs of the M80 Upgrade before construction hits full swing in mid-2020.
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New lanes will be added to the four-kilometre stretch between Sydney Road and Edgars Road, with new entry and exit ramps to be built to improve safety and remove weaving.
Federal Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said it will provide safer and more reliable journeys every day for more than 165,000 cars and 22,000 trucks across the northern and western suburbs.
“Victorians know just how busy the M80 Ring Road can be during peak hour, and we’re thrilled preliminary construction has begun to make it better and safer,” Tudge said.
Major construction works will begin on stage two of the $1.4 billion Monash Freeway upgrade next month.
The project aims to improve trips for almost half a million daily motorists in Melbourne’s south east. It will extend the freeway from eight to 10 lanes between Springvale Road and EastLink and from four to six lanes between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road.
Improved connections will be created at Beaconsfield and link to an upgraded and extended O’Shea Road that will feature two new lanes in each direction.
It will also create a new outbound entry to the Monash Freeway at Police Road and a modified outbound Jacksons Road entry to EastLink.
Survey and geotechnical works, along with preparations on the freeway shoulder to keep lanes open during construction, are also underway.
Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the upgrade will slash almost 10 minutes off a morning peak hour trip between Pakenham and the city.
“We’re improving vital road corridors in every direction you look, and these upgrades to the M80 and Monash will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of drivers each day,” Allan said.
Both freeways will remain open during peak periods to minimise disruption.
The Monash Freeway upgrade is expected to finish in 2022 while work on the M80 is scheduled for completion by early 2023. Both projects are jointly funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments and are being delivered by Major Projects Victoria.