Works begin for a full freeway interchange at the Princes Freeway and Sand Road intersection

Media Release

PF006/2015

09 October 2015

A significant safety upgrade at the Longwarry intersection will get underway today as construction starts on the $31.2 million full freeway interchange.

Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher said the new interchange, jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments, would separate local Sand Road traffic and fast-moving Princes Freeway vehicles.

“This particular intersection has a poor road safety history, with 25 crashes where people have been injured from 2009. The new interchange will remove the competing traffic at the intersection and provide a safer environment for those travelling in the region,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Once complete, the interchange will see Sand Road traffic elevated over the Princes Highway, removal of the 80 kilometres per hour speed limit, new entry and exit ramps as well as two roundabouts on either side of the freeway providing safer connections to Sand Road.”

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent said the project had overwhelming support from the community, freight operators and the tourism industry.

“The community has advocated for change at the intersection for some time and the region's growing population now calls for a more significant investment into improving the safety of the intersection,” Mr Broadbent said.

“As well as carrying considerable volumes of tourist traffic from Melbourne to the Gippsland region, this is an essential route for Victorian freight operators.

“We're really pleased to be able to invest in the development of our industries, and the local and regional community.”

Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, welcomed the announcement and invited local residents to attend an information session on Tuesday 13 October between 5pm and 7pm at the Longwarry Hall to get a better understanding of the project.

“There will be changes to road access arrangements during this project, so we encourage community members to come and have a chat about how the construction of the interchange might impact them and their travel arrangements,” Ms Shing said.

"The new interchange will see Sand Road traffic elevated over the Princes Freeway, no longer having to pass through fast-moving Princes Freeway traffic. Removing the at-grade intersection will give local residents safer access to and from the Longwarry and Labertouche community."

The intersection upgrade is jointly funded with $22.5 million contributed by the Australian Government and $8.7 million from the Victorian Government.

The interchange is expected to be complete in late 2017.

For more information about the project or information session please visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.