New freeway ramps to boost safety, productivity

New ramps to boost productivity and safety on Hume Freeway open as part of the Donnybrook Road interchange project

New freeway ramps to boost productivity and safety on the Hume Freeway have opened as part of the Donnybrook Road interchange project in Victoria.

The $39 million project funded by the Federal Government has significant economic benefits for the trucking industry, the region and other road users, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says.

The three ramps and the new Donnybrook Road Bridge opened at Kalkallo, which Albanese says will make it safer and easier to access and exit the freeway.

"The $39 million project will provide more efficient road access north of Melbourne and along the Hume Freeway and significantly reduce accidents at this Blackspot location where 18 casualty crashes have been recorded in the past five years," Albanese says.

"All road users, including the road freight industry and its customers, will enjoy the significant economic benefits from this project."

Victorian Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas says the ramps are an important milestone for the multi-million dollar project, which is due to be completed ahead of schedule in early 2009.

"The Donnybrook Road interchange project is an important upgrade of our road network, eliminating the Hume Freeway and Donnybrook Road intersection, improving safety and access on this route," Pallas says.

He says direct access means the city-bound exit freeway ramp has a new connection east along Donnybrook Road, while the freeway ramps on the west side have linked the freeway with Donnybrook Road.

The new two-lane bridge that spans Kalkallo Creek repleaces the single-lane stone bridge, which Pallas says had been operating since 1876.

"The new bridge will provide safer and easier access along this route. The old bridge which had carried 2000 vehicles, including 200 trucks, to and from the Hume Freeway each day will now be preserved for local access to nearby residential areas," he says.

Pallas says significant progress is being made on the remaining works, with the last bridge beams placed yesterday for the overpass to carry Donnybrook Road over the Hume Freeway.

Once completed, he says the interchange means motorists can access the freeway and Donnybrook Road in all directions to improve safety and accessibility for the surrounding community and other drivers.

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