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August start to Diggers Rest bypass



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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH 101/91

23 March 1991

AUGUST START ΤΠ DIGGERS REST BYPASS

Federal Land Transport Minister, Bob Brown, today announced an August start to the $36 million Diggers, Rest Bypass.

The 6.5 km bypass is the largest single component in a $126 million Federal Government upgrading of the Calder Highway between Melbourne and Bendigo.

'This Federal funding will substantially achieve the objective of converting the road to four-lane divided highway standard', Mr Brown said.

'Overall, the Federal Government will spend some > $91 million on the Calder Highway between Keilor and Gisborne.

'An extra $35.1 million for the highway north of Gisborne was announced in January'.

Mr Brown was speaking at the official opening of the 7.6 km Keilor to Diggers Rest section, which is fully- funded by the Federal Government.

The Minister said he was pleased that the project had been completed four months ahead of schedule.

'The conversion of the existing road to a four-lane divided freeway will significantly improve travelling times fvr commuters auJ overcome peak traffic demand caused by vehicles travelling tc ~nd from the Calder Park Raceway,’ he said.

'Not only will it provide safer and easier driving conditions, but access has been improved to the Keilor Public Golf Course and the Organ Pipes National Park.

'With the assistance of the "Friends of Organ Pipes National Park", native seed has been collected to generate 20 000 seedlings to plant along the road verges.

'This will ensure that the new roadworks will blend with the environment and provide important green corridors for animals travelling from one habitat to another'.

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Mr Brown said the next stage of the Calder Highway upgrading, the Diggers Rest Bypass, would follow a route north-east of the town, eventually incorporating a rail overpass to replace the existing level crossing and a

full diamond interchange at Vineyard Road.

'There will be a temporary link to the existing highway at Vineyard Road until the interchange is built,' he said.

1A new intersection will be provided where the bypass route crosses the Buller-Diggers Rest Road.

'The bypass will take two years to complete.

'Further along the highway, the improvements between Diggers Rest and Gap Hill will provide valuable transport infrastructure for the Sunbury growth corridor.

'It is envisaged that work will start no later than 1993-94.

'Between Gisborne and Bendigo, the priorities include a bypass of Kyneton and duplication of the existing two- lane section between Harcourt and Ravenswood'.

In January, the Federal Government announced that it would spend a total of $72 million on the Goulburn Valley, Midland, Calder, South Gippsland and Surf Highways in Victoria.

Almost $39 million has been allocated for the Hume Highway in 1990-91, while $32 million will be spent on the Western Highway.

The Federal Government is funding a substantial upgrading of Melbourne's metropolitan arterial roads and improvements to the urban public transport network.

'Across all its programs, the Federal Government is providing Victoria with $327 million for land transport initiatives in 1990-91,'' said Mr Brown.

Media contact: Brian Hill (06) 277 7440 (w)