Geotechnical drilling has begun on two major freeway upgrade projects in Melbourne; the M80 Ring Road and the Monash Freeway Upgrade.
The $518 million upgrade to the Sydney to Edgars road section of the M80 Ring Road is the fifth section to be improved as part of the upgrade of the freeway.
The upgrade 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.
Workers have begun geotechnical investigations and inspections of the project site, which will shape the final designs of the M80 Upgrade ahead of major construction starting in mid-2020.
New lanes will be added on the 4km stretch between Sydney and Edgars Roads, and entry and exit ramps will be built to improve safety and remove weaving.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, 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,” Mr Tudge said.
Major construction on stage two of the $1.4 billion Monash Freeway upgrade will begin in March and is set to improve trips for almost half a million daily motorists in Melbourne’s south-east.
The freeway will be expanded from eight to ten lanes between Springvale Road and EastLink, and from four to six lanes between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road.
Better connections will be created at Beaconsfield, and link to an upgraded and extended O’Shea Road that will feature two extra lanes in each direction.
The upgrade will also create a new outbound entry to the Monash Freeway at Police Road and a modified outbound Jacksons Road entry to EastLink, making it easier and safer to access the Monash and EastLink.
Survey and geotechnical work are underway, as well as preparations on the freeway shoulder to keep lanes open during construction.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said the upgrade will slash almost ten 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,” Ms Allan said.
Both freeways will remain open during peak periods to keep freight and commuters moving, to minimise disruption.
Smart transport technology and new overhead gantries will be installed on both the Monash and M80 to give motorists live traffic information and better lane management during incidents to keep traffic moving.
The Monash Freeway upgrade is expected to be complete in 2022, while work on the M80 is due for completion by early 2023.
Both projects are jointly funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments and are being delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria.