THE HIGHWAY duplication through Winchelsea is progressing with cranes lifting 18 beams into place on the bridge over the Barwon River yesterday.
Federal Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said the work was an important milestone.
“Residents will have noticed two cranes rolling into town in preparation for the beam lift,” Mr Truss said.
“The cranes will lift a total of 18 beams, each weighing 26 tonnes, into place to support the bridge deck which will be around 60 metres in length.”
Victorian Roads, Road Safety and Ports Minister Luke Donnellan said the construction of the bridge is part of the road upgrade at Winchelsea which includes installing traffic signals at Hesse Street and Deans Marsh Road.
“Work is progressing well in Winchelsea with upgrades between Lennox Street and Austin Street completed late last year,” Mr Donnellan said.
“The construction of the bridge over the Barwon River is the next major milestone.”
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson said the bridge was already boosting the community.
“Many of the parts that make up the bridge have been made locally, which has supported the economy and local jobs,” Mr Henderson said.
“Once complete, the new bridge will provide a safer route for all traffic moving through Winchelsea, particularly for traffic heading towards Geelong and Melbourne,” she said.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said the highway duplication would be an important part of improving freight and tourist links between Melbourne, Geelong and south-west Victoria to the South Australian border.
“The highway directly services over 350,000 people and a number of important industries including forestry, agriculture, grain and dairy,” Ms Tierney said.
The federal and state governments provided $85.5 million towards the $171-million project.