Investment in safer regional roads

Victoria’s biggest road maintenance blitz will fix hundreds of regional roads, enabling safer, faster and more reliable journeys.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 allocates $941 million to the state’s regional road network and establishes a dedicated country roads body.

Regional Roads Victoria will be a new division of VicRoads, based in Ballarat, with staff in regional centres across the state.

RRV, led by a Chief Regional Roads Officer, will oversee a $333 million road maintenance boost.

More than 1000km of road will be repaired, resurfaced or rebuilt.

A $100 million Fixing Country Roads fund will also be established to provide grants to rural and regional councils.

A further $229 million will help save lives on high-risk roads, through the Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan, with more new overtaking lanes, rumble strips and intersection upgrades.

The Budget also includes $98 million for planning and pre-construction of new bypasses on the Western Highway, at Beaufort and Ararat, and $40 million to upgrade the Princes Highway West between Colac and the South Australian border.

Works on key sections of the Calder, Hamilton and the Kiewa Valley highways will improve safety, travel times and freight productivity.

Ballarat’s Sturt Street will get a series of intersection upgrades between Pleasant Street and Dyson Drive to reduce congestion and make it safer to access schools, shops and sports grounds.

A new roundabout will be constructed on the Shepparton Alternate Route to improve safety and access for heavy vehicles, part of a $20 million investment to cater for future growth.