New lane on M80 ring road set to open

By: Graham Gardiner

An additional lane will open to traffic on the M80 Ring Road early tomorrow morning, between the Deer Park Bypass

An additional lane will open to traffic on the M80 Ring Road early tomorrow morning, between the Deer Park Bypass and Boundary Road, as part of the $2.25 billion upgrade project.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas and Federal Member for Gorton Brendan O’Connor MP inspected the new Altona-bound lane in Sunshine West today, which will improve traffic flow for Victorian motorists.

"The Brumby Labor Government and the Rudd Labor Government are taking action now to invest in important projects that create jobs, reduce congestion and improve Victoria’s road network," Pallas says.

"The completion of these early works will allow traffic to flow freely from the recently opened Deer Park Bypass onto the M80 Ring Road and will help reduce travel times for motorists heading into the city.

"This $2.25 billion upgrade project is a great boost for Victoria, creating and securing up to 6,500 jobs during construction and once complete, will significantly improve safety for motorists, enhance capacity and improve travel times along the Ring Road route."

O’Connor says VicRoads and Leighton Contractors started works in December last year to add the additional Altona-bound lane ahead of time.

"The extra lane will improve traffic flow and also road safety by reducing unnecessary weaving and merging and reduce congestion issues at the Boundary Road exit," he says.

"The Rudd Government provided $5 million and the Brumby Government $1 million to fast track these works and deliver early benefits to drivers as construction on the ring road gears up.

"These works were brought forward as part of the Rudd Government’s Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan that was announced last year and is being used to strengthen the Australian economy by creating more jobs."

Pallas says the M80 upgrade will take more than five years to complete, however, motorists will not have long to wait to benefit further from the project.

"Further works due to commence later in the year will include the widening of bridges over Tilburn Road in Ardeer, Steele Creek in Keilor Park as well as road surfacing works," he says.

"The Rudd and Brumby Governments announced earlier this year that the first major section of works to be upgraded will be between the Tullamarine Freeway and Sydney Road and completed through an alliance arrangement.

"Thiess, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hyder will join VicRoads on the Tulla Sydney Alliance, with works to commence early next year. Works will greatly improve traffic flow through the addition of an extra lane in both directions and the installation of Intelligent Transport Systems."

The M80 Ring Road is a key freight route and an important connection for many growth areas in Melbourne, carrying 142,000 vehicles per day, of which 16 percent are trucks.

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