Friday, 31 August 2018

The popular tourist route along Gippsland’s Great Alpine Road is about to become safer and more reliable with construction now underway on seven kilometres of road improvements between Omeo and Swifts Creek.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said road upgrades in Victoria’s key alpine areas were essential to ensuring safer journeys for both locals and visitors, especially during the snow season.

“This section of the Great Alpine Road leads to one of the country’s most popular snowfields and receives an influx of tourist traffic, some of which are not familiar with the road at a time of year when weather conditions are not ideal for road travel,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Great Alpine Road plays a vital role in the economic prosperity of North East Gippsland, and these upgrades will help ensure everyone travelling in this region can reach their destination more safely.”

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the upgrades formed part of a larger road upgrade package that is boosting safety and efficiency across the road network.

“We’re getting on with making the Great Alpine Road safer and more reliable for communities, visitors and freight vehicles who use this route every day.”

“We’ve already improved eight kilometres of road at Tambo Crossing and Tongio, as well as yellow line-marking and new guideposts between Mt Hotham Airport and Omeo,” Mr Donnellan said.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the works underway would include new road shoulders to improve stability, road widening to accommodate heavy vehicles and improved drainage.

“Works between Omeo and Swifts Creek began in early August and are expected to continue until November 2018, with temporary speed limits and lane closures in place while these works are carried out,” Mr Chester said.

There are several other road safety improvement projects still to come for the Great Alpine Road, including road widening at Bullocky Creek and between Hell’s Gate and Namestone Point, which will improve safety even further. These works are expected to be complete by mid-2021.

State Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said the entire package of upgrades will particularly benefit tourists who are not familiar with the Great Alpine Road.

“These works will greatly improve the stability and efficiency of the road and provide safer journeys for anyone travelling along this route,” Ms Shing said.

The project is being delivered by the VicRoads Eastern Region Alliance, a partnership between VicRoads and Fulton Hogan.

The Australian and Victorian governments are jointly funding the $10 million upgrade between Cobungra to Bruthen, which will complement a further $8 million in upgrades on the Great Alpine Road between Cobungra and Wangaratta.