Sun. Dec 5th, 2021

Holidaymakers planning to escape on the Great Ocean Road between Christmas and New Year will face lengthy delays with major construction works planned for some of the state’s most critical transport corridors, including the West Gate Bridge, this summer.

From Boxing Day until January 4, three of the West Gate Bridge’s five outbound lanes will be closed for annual maintenance.

The pain will continue for commuters returning to work in the new year, with works to widen the West Gate Freeway leading to the closure of key entry and exit points, including the M80-Princes Freeway ramp, from January 11 until late February.

Commuters and beachgoers in the city’s south-east won’t be spared, with construction work to add 36 kilometres of lanes to the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Road and Cardinia Road continuing throughout January resulting in daytime lane closures and reduced speed limits.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the projects would ultimately transform the way Melburnians navigate the city.

“Some of our biggest transport projects are now really taking shape on road and rail projects that will transform how you travel, and support thousands of jobs at a time we need them most,” Ms Allan said.

She said passengers and motorists would need to allow extra time while the works happened.

By the end of summer, the Andrews government also plans to remove another four level crossings and open three new stations to the public, including one in North Williamstown Station and one at Merinda Park.

The construction boom will see buses replace trains across the network, with the Cranbourne line facing the most significant delays over summer.

The renewal of tram tracks in High Street, Northcote, Mt Alexander Road, Essendon, Glenferrie Road, Kooyong, and Swan Street, Richmond, will also lead to delays on the city’s tram network. Seven routes will be affected.

The construction blitz will also see weekend closures of the M80 Ring Road in late January and mid-February for asphalting upgrades between Sydney and Edgars roads.

Regional Victorians won’t be spared. Works are planned on both the Shepparton and Warrnambool train lines over summer.

Buses will replace trains on the Shepparton line from 1 to 12 December with platform extensions kicking off at Nagambie and Murchison East.

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