Infrastructure Australia, the Australian government's independent advisory body on major infrastructure projects, has added Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade to the Infrastructure Priority List as a high priority project.
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Monash Freeway. Credit: AS 1979, FlickrCC

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said Infrastructure Australia's assessment shows the benefit-cost ratio of the project is a 4.6. This means the benefits of the project are valued at 460% of its costs - showing just how important this $711 million project will be to the Melbourne road network.

"Motorists make more than 470,000 trips on this corridor each day and that's why the Turnbull Government is investing $500 million in this vital project - to help ensure those trips become quicker and easier for Melburnians," Fletcher said.

"Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade will add 36 kilometres of new lanes to ease the current gridlock motorists face every day. 

"There are also important economic benefits - this upgrade will improve access to the growing Monash and Dandenong National Employment and Innovation Clusters, major employment centres incorporating Monash University, Monash Medical Centre and Dandenong Hospital.

 Federal Member for La Trobe Jason Wood said he has long campaigned to make the upgrade a reality.

"The project includes the upgrade of the Beaconsfield Interchange and the extension of O'Shea Road in Berwick, which would greatly benefit residents in the south east," Wood said.

"The freeway will be widened between Warrigal Road and Eastlink and between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road, cutting an estimated nine minutes off a peak-hour trip between Pakenham and the city.

The Australian government is contributing $500 million to the Monash Freeway Upgrade Stage 2 with the Victorian Ggvernment contributing the remainder.

Major construction on the project is scheduled to start in mid-2019 and is expected to be completed in early 2022, weather permitting.