First section completed on M1 upgrade in Melbourne

The Monash Freeway became the first part of the upgraded M1 when it opened to traffic on Friday.

Melbourne’s congestion problems may be reduced after the first milestone in the upgrade of the Monash-Citylink-West Gate (M1) was reached, when the first fully completed section of the Monash Freeway opened to traffic on Friday.

Eight lanes of the 3.5-kilometre inbound and outbound carriageways between Forster Road and Warrigal Road have been resurfaced with new line marking and will provide an indication of how the fully completed project may operate.

The entire project, which is set for completion in 2010, is running ahead of schedule and another eight-lane stretch of the Monash Freeway between Warriigal Road and Jacksons Road on target to be completed by the middle of the year.

Victorian Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas says the benefits of the early completion of the first section of the project will be felt almost immediately.

"We have been able to complete this section of the Monash Freeway early, providing immediate benefits for the thousands of people who live, work and do business along one of Melbourne’s busiest road corridors," Pallas says.

However, despite highlighting the benefits the project will give to the city authorities have warned congestion will get worse before it gets better.

M1 Upgrade Project Director John Cunningham says large scale traffic disruptions are unavoidable.

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