More than 200,000 motorists will experience a safer and more reliable drive with a $400 million upgrade to the Monash Freeway.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Gippsland Region, welcomed the announcement that the Monash Freeway will be widened from four to five lanes each way between the EastLink interchange and South Gippsland Highway, and from two to three lanes each way through to Clyde Road in Berwick.

The Monash upgrade will deliver the longest stretch of managed motorway in Australia by using smart technology to help prevent traffic banking up, which causes congestion and stop-start driving.

The extra lanes and smart technology will help keep traffic flowing during peak travel periods.

When finished, the project will cut travel times and make room for an extra 2000 vehicles during the peak. The smart technology will ensure less merging and weaving for motorists getting on and off the freeway, leading to a 20 per cent reduction in serious crashes.

The business case for the Monash upgrade has a Benefit Cost Ratio of 4.2. The business case has been developed in parallel with the assessment of Transurban’s market-led proposal, which also includes upgrades to the Monash.

The business case will be submitted to the Commonwealth in the coming weeks and released when the assessment is complete. The Government will proceed with the project regardless of the outcome of the market-led proposal, which is expected to be announced by the end of the year.

The Monash freeway will continue to remain toll free with the project being completed by the end of 2018. The upgrade will create 400 jobs during construction.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety , Luke Donnellan

“The South East is one of our fastest growing regions and this upgrade will give 200,000 motorists a safer and more reliable trip.”

“The upgrade will increase capacity during peak periods between EastLink and the South Gippsland Freeway by up to 25% and on the Hallam Bypass by up to 50%.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Gippsland, Harriet Shing

“͞The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the projects that our state needs.”

“This upgrade will mean less congestion on the Monash for motorists and will remove bumper to bumper conditions at a number of bottlenecks between Eastlink and the South Gippsland Freeway.”

“It will reduce congestion, cut travel times for commuters and freight, improve safety and create 400 jobs.”