Posted on 28. Sep, 2010 in News

Major works on CityLink and the Monash Freeway as part of the Brumby Labor Government’s $1.39 billion M1 Upgrade project are complete, with the additional inbound lane to fully open to traffic on Sunday, in time for return to school traffic next week.

Acting Premier Rob Hulls and Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today announced that the additional lane on the Monash Freeway and CityLink, inbound from High Street to Burnley, would open this Sunday well ahead of its December target.

“The M1 Upgrade is a key part of the Brumby Labor Government’s plan to build a better transport system for Victoria, so people can spend less time in traffic and more time with family and friends,” Mr Hulls said.

“The Monash-CityLink-West Gate freeway corridor is Victoria’s busiest and arguably most important transport route, with some 160,000 vehicles using this road every day – so today we’re marking a major milestone on Victoria’s biggest and most complex road project to date.

“As part of this massive project, we have delivered an additional lane in each direction on the Monash Freeway/CityLink from Heatherton Road in Dandenong to the tunnels and a state-of-the-art freeway management system with ramp metering and real-time traffic information.

“We have also introduced new ramp on the West Gate Freeway to separate traffic and reduce weaving and merging and we’re already seeing improved travel times and safety benefits, including a significant reduction in casualty crashes.”

Mr Pallas said the additional lane would make a considerable difference for commuters and the freight industry, increasing the road’s capacity and cutting travel times.

“Work already completed on the West Gate Freeway, CityLink and the Monash has dramatically improved speeds and reduced travel times across most of the corridor,” Mr Pallas said.

“Outbound on the Monash during the evening peak, the average speed has increased by 45 per cent since the additional lane opened.

“Latest data shows travel speeds between Warrigal and Jacksons Roads in the morning peak inbound have gone from 46 km/h to 58 km/h, and from 42 km/h to 85 km/h in the afternoon peak outbound. Casualty accidents in this stretch have also decreased by 46 per cent.”

On the West Gate Freeway from Kings Way to Todd Road, there has been a 97 per cent increase in speed in the morning peak from 36 km/h to 71 km/h, and a 59 per cent increase outbound in the afternoon from 41 km/h to 65 km/h. Casualty crashes have more than halved.

Average travel times have also improved significantly in the afternoon peak outbound; by 50 per cent on the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Road to Jacksons Road, by 38 per cent from Toorak Road to Warrigal Road and by 29 percent on the West Gate Freeway, from Kings Way to Todd Road.

CityLink General Manager Danny Elia said while the delivery of such a complex project had been outstanding, he understood motorists’ frustration in waiting for the final section to be completed when most other sections were already open.

“One of the major challenges facing this project was to keep traffic moving while rebuilding the road. This necessarily meant the project had to be phased. However we have worked to open sections as soon as possible,” Mr Elia said.

“By the end of the week we will have completed the last of the work needed to open the additional lane on Sunday.”

CityLink will complete routine resurfacing for the new section in required warmer weather over the summer. Works continue on the West Gate Bridge strengthening project, which will deliver five lanes of traffic in each direction and public safety barriers.

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