Drivers can expect better traffic flow on the M80 Ring Road from today with more than 13 kilometres of new lanes now open, months ahead of schedule.
A three-kilometre corridor on the M80 Ring Road has been widened – from two to four lanes from Sunshine Avenue to the EJ Whitten Bridge and from three to five lanes across the EJ Whitten Bridge right through to the Calder Freeway.
Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the extra lanes reduced the need for drivers to merge and weave across traffic, improving safety and reliability.
“This upgrade has boosted capacity and will reduce congestion at bottlenecks along the M80 Ring Road, giving drivers a better trip between Sunshine Avenue and the Calder Freeway,” Mr Tudge said.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said one of the key features of the upgrade was the complex widening of the existing EJ Whitten Bridge.
“At 50 metres high and 520 metres long, the EJ Whitten Bridge is the second highest road bridge in Victoria – our crews have joined the twin three lane carriageways together to create a single structure with five lanes in both directions,” Mr Donnellan said.
Liberal Senator for Victoria James Paterson said a new, intelligent transport system is also being switched on to further improve journeys for drivers and help them get where they need to go.
“This includes overhead gantries, dynamic lane management and variable speed limit signs which will keep traffic flowing, even in busy periods,” Mr Paterson said.
Victorian Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman said the upgrade will make a massive difference for locals who rely on the Ring Road every day.
“This upgrade cuts out those frustrating pinch points at Sunshine Avenue, Keilor Park Drive and the Calder Freeway and will improve traffic flow, especially in peak periods,” Ms Suleyman said.
Nearly 200,000 drivers use the M80 Ring Road each day including 22,000 trucks.
Nearly 1,000 construction workers have worked some 675,000 construction hours laying 60,000 tonnes of asphalt, 36,000 tonnes of concrete and 4,000 tonnes of steel as part of the new, wider M80 Ring Road.
Drivers will travel on a temporary surface at a reduced 80km/h speed limit for a short time until overnight temperatures warm up and allow crews to lay the final asphalt. This surface work will be undertaken at night to avoid peak periods and minimise disruptions to drivers.
The Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway upgrade is a $300 million project, jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments as part of the M80 Ring Road Upgrade and is being delivered by the Major Road Projects Authority.