FEDERAL BUDGET: $4.2b committed to roads

Further $4.2b committed to large and small road projects in this week's Federal Budget

May 12, 2010

Federal investment in key national transport routes will continue next financial year after the Rudd Government committed $4.2 billion as part of its road-building program in last’s night Budget.

The latest round of funding had been earmarked previously, with the Government planning to invest $27.7 billion over six years from 2008-09 to 2013-14.

A key portion of the money will be spent upgrading Australia’s national network, with the latest round of funding forming an $11.8 billion investment in projects on the Pacific, Bruce and Hume highways and feeder roads.

Work will begin this year on upgrading the Hunter Expressway, building the bypass on the Pacific at Kempsey and realigning the Cardwell Range in North Queensland.

Funds will also be invested in the Sapphire to Woolgoolga route on the Pacific. Both Pacific Highway projects are scheduled to be completed by 2013.

The Bruce Highway upgrade is due to open in 2012, while the Hunter Expressway project will finish in 2013.

The Rudd Government expects to finish the Mudgeeraba interchange on the Pacific later this year and complete the Varsity Lakes interchange on the highway by early 2011.

"Without this type of real and substantial action, the cost of congestion will double to $20 billion a year by the end of the decade – a potentially major impost on family budgets and the productivity of businesses," Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says.

Albanese also expects major projects across Australia to begin this year.

The Kings Road interchange on the Calder Highway in Victoria is scheduled to start late this year and be completed in mid-2012.

The Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea in Victoria is scheduled to start in late 2010 and be completed in mid 2014.

Works to duplicate the Dampier Highway will also start later this year, with the Government anticipating a two-year completion date.

The Federal Government will also commit $73 million to a $110 million upgrade to the Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway interchange northeast of Perth. The project will start late this year and be completed in mid 2012.

The $188 million Great Northern Highway realignment at Port Hedland will start in early 2011 and be completed in mid 2014.

Some key road projects are due to finish in 2010 and by the middle of 2011.

The fourth stage of the Geelong Ring Road project in Victoria and the Mandurah Entrance Road at Mandurah will be completed late this year.

The Northern Expressway between Gawler and Adelaide is scheduled to be completed in August 2010.

Tasmania’s Bridgewater Bridge refurbishment and upgrade of the Lyell Highway junction on the Midland Highway will be completed in December this year, Albanese says.

The second stage of an extension to Tharwa Road and Lanyon Drive in the ACT will finish in June 2011.

Meanwhile, the South Road Superway project in Adelaide will begin next year and will be completed in late 2013, Albanese says.

Albanese is also touting the Government’s investment in road safety initiatives.

He says 320 dangerous black spots on local roads will be eliminated thanks to a $59.5 million investment.

Another $20 million will be spent on roadside facilities for truck drivers, including rest stops, parking bays and decoupling areas. Money will also go to nine bridge upgrades.

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