More work to be done

More work to be done

Key road safety improvements along the Princes Highway east of Bairnsdale have been completed, but there’s still more work to be done, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester recently travelled the length of the highway to check progress on the $50 million infrastructure project, jointly funded by the Federal and State governments.

“The works are progressing well and we now have a new roundabout at Cann River and significant changes have been made to the Esplanade in Lakes Entrance to improve safety for pedestrians,” Mr Chester said.

“This is on top of three new overtaking lanes already constructed between Nowa Nowa and Orbost, which has improved safety for drivers. These lanes are important as they provide safe overtaking opportunities and reduce driver impatience when dealing with the large number of heavy vehicles and holidaymakers towing boats and caravans.”

Mr Chester said the highway upgrade project also included $5.8 million for shoulder sealing work at Tostaree, Orbost, Newmerella, Cabbage Tree, Bellbird Creek, Cann River and Genoa.

“There is still plenty to be completed, including sealing new rest areas and road shoulders, and upgrading intersections,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve worked hard to secure a record investment by the Federal Government in the safety of the Princes Highway. We are building a better, safer highway for Gippslanders, local businesses and visitors to our region.

“A safer, more reliable highway makes our region a more attractive place to do business, which means more investment in our region and more jobs for local people.”

Work undertaken as part of the $50 million safety package is expected to be completed in 2021. Mr Chester also secured $15 million for safety improvements to be evenly split between the Great Alpine Road, the Monaro Highway and the Hyland Highway.

In last year’s Federal Budget, Mr Chester successfully lobbied for $132 million to complete the final two stages of the duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale. This project requires a State Government commitment of $33 million before works can start.

IMAGE: Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, says there is more needed to be done along the Princes Highway east of Bairnsdale.