Monash Freeway, where trucks for many years have gone to sit idle, is undergoing a $1.4 billion upgrade as part of stage two construction which commenced this week.
With an extra and much needed $367.5 million of funds kicked into the project by both the Morrison and Victorian Governments in September, the project is expected to be completed by 2022.
It's a vital corridor for freight movements and commuter traffic from the city to Melbourne's sprawling southeastern suburbs as infrastructure plays catch up with exponential traffic growth.
Up to 1000 local jobs will be created on the project with the centre median of the Monash arterial to be transformed into a work site.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said keeping freight and commuters moving during construction was a priority throughout construction.
“The freeway will remain open during peak periods, and we’ll schedule any major lane closures outside of busy times,” she said.
Federal Member for La Trobe Jason Wood said the project would deliver long-lasting benefits for his local community.
“The project will add extra lane in either direction from Clyde Road to Cardinia Road and upgrade Beaconsfield Interchange, the extension of O’Shea Road in Berwick, which will facilitate the Minta City development, opening 10,000 new job opportunities which would greatly benefit residents in the south east,” he said.
Overseen by Major Road Projects Victoria the project aims to improve efficiency for thousands of businesses in the southeast.
Work is already underway on the freeway shoulder to maintain lane availability during construction, and temporary line marking will begin in the coming weeks.
Barriers are being installed along the freeway, which will be expanded from eight to ten lanes between Springvale Road and EastLink – with an extra outbound lane built between Warrigal Road and Springvale Road.
The freeway will also be expanded from four to six lanes between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road.
Smart transport technology and new overhead gantries will be installed on the Monash, giving motorists live traffic information and better lane management during incidents to keep traffic flowing.
“We want to meet the huge demand for this corridor which is why beyond adding extra lanes, we’re improving links to the Monash,” said Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.