Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in Geelong are a step closer to safer and more reliable journeys with contracts awarded to deliver the much-needed Barwon Heads Road Upgrade.
The project will be delivered concurrently through a trio of construction partners, providing more opportunities across the construction industry and creating around 500 local jobs and about 1,400 indirect jobs – crucial to the regional recovery effort post-COVID-19.
Decmil, BMD Constructions and BildGroup will build the project, in partnership with Major Road Projects Victoria.
Over the next month, crews will continue road widening, boundary fencing, utility relocations and site establishment works, paving the way for major construction to begin in October.
The Barwon Heads Road Upgrade will add new lanes for approximately four kilometres between Settlement Road and Reserve Road, remove a dangerous level crossing at Marshall, and upgrade intersections at Settlement Road and Breakwater Road.
New traffic signals will also be constructed at Crows Road, Barwarre Road, Marshalltown Road and Reserve Road.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the upgrade would improve traffic flow and reduce congestion on Barwon Heads Road – a crucial arterial link between Geelong, the Bellarine and the growing Armstrong Creek residential precinct.
“By boosting capacity and removing a key traffic bottleneck, this upgrade will ensure the thousands of people who rely on Barwon Heads Road every day get to where they need to go sooner and safer,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the upgrade would provide better connections to active and public transport modes and ensure Barwon Heads Road could cater for the up to 44,000 daily journeys expected on the road by 2031.
“Greater Geelong has the largest population growth in regional Victoria, which is why we’re taking action to deliver not only this much-needed upgrade but a suite of Big Build projects in the region to provide better journeys for the people who live and work here,” Ms Allan said.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Barwon Heads Road upgrade will reduce travel times increase safety for the growing Bellarine community and get people home faster.
“This much-needed upgrade will reduce travel times for the many families, business owners and essential services travelling between Geelong and the Bellarine and make a huge difference in safety for students and cyclists through better pathways and cycleways,” Senator Henderson said.
“I am delighted to have fought hard for the Barwon Heads Road upgrade which will mean so much to locals and visitors alike heading to our beautiful region.”
As part of the upgrade, on-road cycling lanes and an off-road shared use pedestrian and cycling path will also be built, improving safety for vulnerable road users and allowing better connections to the Waurn Ponds Trail, the South Barwon Reserve, Belmont Common and the Barwon River Precinct.
A new bridge over the Melbourne-Warrnambool rail line removes the dangerous level crossing at Marshall, improving safety and traffic flow.
Victorian Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman said that getting on with this much-needed project is a great result for the local community.
“Projects like this are vital to our local economic recovery – it’s not only delivering a vital project, but creates much needed local jobs and gets shovels in the ground as quickly as possible,” Mr Cheeseman said.
The Barwon Heads Road Upgrade is being delivered through a new partnership approach to road building contracts, that means major projects move from paper to pavement sooner and more easily. This approach was supported by the Australian Government’s fast-tracking of the assessment and approval phases, to support the release of funding for this important project.