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Funding boost for notorious Nunawading intersection.

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The Federal Government will provide $80 million to fix Melbourne’s most congested major intersection at Whitehorse and Springvale roads in Nunawading, Treasurer Peter Costello announced today.

The Federal funding is comprised of $55 million in new funds, on top of $25 million Mr Costello announced for the project in July last year.

Both of these roads are State roads and the Victorian Government is totally responsible for the intersection.

The Australian Government is committed to seeing this traffic nightmare fixed. With the State Government the only authority permitted to undertake these road works, the Australian Government is now seeking the State Government’s commitment to the project, including the announcement of a timetable for the work, as a priority.

If the State Government is prepared to act the Australian Government will fund $80 million of the works.

The Nunawading intersection, about 20 kilometres from the city, has been voted Melbourne’s number one traffic congestion spot in the last two Redspot surveys conducted by the RACV.

Around 125,000 cars pass through the intersection every day. Traffic problems are compounded by the nearby Belgrave-Lilydale rail line crossing, which, as Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor, sees 250 trains pass through each day. Delays will not be addressed by construction of the EastLink toll road.

As part of the $25 million original Federal funding commitment, $1.5 million was allocated to the City of Whitehorse to commission a report to investigate the best feasible traffic management and engineering solution for the intersection. This study is due for completion next year.

Options previously looked at to alleviate the bottleneck include twin tunnels to divert Springvale Road under Whitehorse Road (Maroondah Highway) and the rail line. Another option is to raise the rail line over Springvale Road.

The Federal Member for Deakin, Phil Barresi, has campaigned tirelessly for the bottleneck to be fixed:

“The Springvale Road level crossing problem has gone on for way too long. Like everybody else who lives in our community, I see first hand the congestion and safety problems at this major bottleneck. That is why I have been fighting so hard over many years to fix it,” Mr Barresi said.

“It’s great the Federal Government has acted and provided $80 million to help fix this problem. But our hard work doesn’t stop there. This is really a State Government responsibility and I’m going to pressure the State Labor Government to do their bit. I won’t stop until this traffic nightmare is fixed.”

MELBOURNE 5 October 2007

Contact: Renae Stoikos, Treasurer’s Office - 03 9650 0244 Luke Dixon, Mr Barresi’s Office - 03 9873 8351