Rudd steps in to cut truckie travel times

PM announces new $200 million project to slash travel times for the 4,000 truck drivers using the Western Highway

February 18, 2010

The travel times of the 4,000 truckies a day who use the Western Highway in Victoria will soon be slashed, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Rudd today announced the official start of major construction on the $200 million upgrade to the highway at Anthony’s Cutting.

Once complete, Rudd says the upgrade to the route between Melton West and Bacchus Bush will benefit all road users.

The upgrade will include the duplicating and straightening of 5km of highway, six new bridges and two new Melbourne bound access ramps at Hopetoun Park Road.

"The work will improve safety and reduce travel times for the 25,000 cars and 4,000 trucks that use this section of highway every day," Rudd says.

A new link to and from Bacchus Marsh with Woolpack Road extended from Bacchus Marsh Road will also be built, with direct freeway connections in all directions via a new interchange.

Rudd says all of this will contribute to the reduction in Victoria’s road toll.

"Up until now, the Anthony’s Cutting section of the Western Highway with its steep hills and tight curves has seen 21 serious crashes in just the last five years.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2012.

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