By Corey Everitt
The Pakenham Roads Upgrade, Berwick’s Clyde Road Upgrade and many more local projects will go ahead as the Federal Government published its long-awaited infrastructure review which confirmed hundreds of millions in funding will be retained for improving local roads.
Uncertainty has loomed since May as both local road upgrades were among some 300 infrastructure projects across the country of which funding was reassessed in the Federal Department of Infrastructure’s 90-day review to mend a $33 billion overall cost blow-out.
Up to 50 projects had their federal funding retracted across the country, 12 of which are in Victoria.
The two local projects were not among them and will be built as planned; the funding of $391.5 million for Pakenham Roads and $250 million for Clyde Road were reaffirmed in the review published by the Federal Government on Thursday 16 November.
The Pakenham Roads Upgrade had already begun phase one, while phases two and three were potentially on the chopping block.
Phase one is currently upgrading the road surface and constructing extra lanes on the Princes Freeway with further improvements to exit and entry ramps on Healesville-Kooweerup Road to come.
With phases two and three secured, Pakenham will see upgrades to McGregor Road and Racecourse Road that will add extra lanes and intersections, aiming to improve safety and ease congestion.
Clyde Road will see extra lanes added to its strip between the Princes Freeway and Kangan Drive, adding improved intersections to help the flow of traffic for Casey Hospital and the busy campuses of Chisholm and Federation University.
Many more projects in the South East, some of which have already begun, were listed in the review’s summary with their funding reaffirmed by the Federal Government:
* Hall Road Upgrade, Cranbourne West – $141.2 million;
* Narre Warren North Road Upgrade – $31 million;
* Car Park Upgrade – Berwick Railway Station – $64.2 million;
* Car Park Upgrade – Pakenham and Pakenham East – $15 million; and
* Princes Highway Intersection Upgrades – Pakenham to Beaconsfield – $21.5 million.