As visitors begin to head back to the Great Ocean Road after the COVID lockdown the state government has announced plans to make the area safer and more reliable with a major investment into roads and bridges.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll announced today (18 Nov 2020) that the Victorian Budget 2020/21 will include $272.4 million to upgrade the Great Ocean Road and its inland routes, as well as key roads which support the dairy industry in the South West Region.
This includes $140 million to upgrade and improve the resilience of the Great Ocean Road so it can continue carrying millions of people each year as Victoria’s number one tourist route.
This will include vital works to ensure the road remains strong – such as rebuilding road pavement, bridge strengthening, geotechnical works, and safety upgrades.
Another $115 million will be invested into upgrading the inland routes between the Great Ocean Road and the Princes Highway West, which are vital connections for the tourism and freight industries as well as local communities.
These upgrades will include pavement widening and rebuilding works so roads are stronger and smoother, as well as the construction of retaining walls to reduce the risk of landslips.
An amount of $17.4 million will also be invested in priority roads which support the Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain – including rebuilding, resurfacing and widening roads, strengthening or replacing bridges and planning for future upgrades.
This will allow the routes to carry heavier vehicles, providing more efficient transport from depots, farms and processors.
The new projects build on the Victorian Government’s $53 million package of geotechnical works that started on the Great Ocean Road in 2017 to keep the road accessible by reducing the risk of landslips or rockfalls.
“The Great Ocean Road is an iconic Victorian attraction which brings millions of visitors to the region each year and is the lifeline for a number of communities along the coast,” Minister Carroll said.
“This will deliver stronger, safer and more reliable roads for locals, tourists and the freight industry – it will help to boost the region’s economic recovery following the pandemic.”
Source: A state government media release