Passing lanes on Strzelecki Highway deliver safety improvements

Media Release

DC015/2016

11 March 2016

Joint release with:

Luke Donnellan

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety

Harriet Shing

Member for Eastern Victoria

Safety and traffic flow is set to improve for motorists along the Strzelecki Highway, with the completion of an overtaking lane south of Driffield.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who was onsite today to officially open the 1.3 kilometre overtaking lane, said the safety works had been jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

"The Australian Government provided $3.2 million and the Victorian Government $1.1 million to the construction of this $4.3 million Strzelecki Highway project," Mr Chester said.

"The overtaking lane will give motorists safer overtaking opportunities. This is vitally important, given the presence of slower-moving vehicles such as logging and dairy trucks that navigate the winding and hilly alignment over the Strzelecki Ranges.

"Projects like this one, which improve our road network, go a long way to helping reduce road crashes and trauma. It will also improve travel times for people driving between the Latrobe Valley and South Gippsland."

Victorian Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan said additional safety measures had also been installed, including new right and left turn lanes into Smiths Road as well as safety barriers at high-risk sections of the highway.

"The combination of an overtaking lane and new safety barriers will provide a safer stretch of what is a busy regional highway that carries more than 4000 vehicles a day," Mr Donnellan said.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said there has been a history of serious accidents and delays on the section of road.

"Safety barriers will provide protection from roadside hazards and help to reduce the severity of crashes in the area, while the overtaking lane will provide safe opportunities for passing slow vehicles when travelling towards Mirboo North," Ms Shing said.