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Council welcomes $70m road upgrade announcement

Published: 21 March 2019

Cardinia Shire Council has welcomed the Australian Government’s funding announcement of $70 million for a comprehensive road upgrade package at Pakenham’s Racecourse Road.

The announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Scott Morrison MP today, provides funding to reduce the major traffic congestion that plagues the stretch of road from Princes Freeway to Henry Street and will include:

  • the 1.5km duplication of Princes Freeway to Henry Road
  • upgrading the roundabout at Bald Hill and Racecourse Roads in Pakenham to a signalised intersection
  • upgrading the freeway overpass to duplicate the lanes along Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Graeme Moore said the funding commitment will drastically help improve road conditions at one of the shire’s biggest road congestion and traffic safety hot spots.

“This project will boost safety, reduce delays, improve access to the town centre and local businesses, and allow for additional through-traffic capacity in the future.

“As a major regional road and the primary access point between the Princes Freeway and Pakenham township, Racecourse Road carries almost 20,000 vehicles per day on a single traffic lane each direction into this major roundabout.

“The Bald Hill Road precinct is also a major industrial area and queuing traffic in Bald Hill Road restricts accessibility and viability for businesses.

“Improving access at this intersection will help to better manage the growing number of commuters and other road users travelling outbound from Melbourne to Pakenham and surrounds daily. It will also help our local economy expand and allow for the adjacent Peet Street industrial estate to develop and contribute to the local economy and job market,” he said.

Cr Moore said this project will complement works in the broader area including the duplication of Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road and the recently announced rail separation project to provide better traffic conditions and safety in the area into the future and as the community continues to grow.

“We’ve been advocating on behalf of our community for improvements to this intersection and major regional arterial road, and we’ll continue to advocate for improvements across the shire’s road network so it can cope with increasing traffic demands and remains safe for our community.

“This funding announcement is great news for our community, and we’re looking forward to seeing the work start,” Cr Moore said.

It is expected the project will now progress to detailed design.