Northern Star Weekly
22 November 2016
The O’Herns Road interchange will finally go ahead, with the federal government announcing it has included the long-awaited project in a $3 billion infrastructure package for Victoria.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull foreshadowed the spending spree last week, saying the package will provide critical funding for more than 40 key road and rail projects across the state.
The federal government will contribute $1.5 billion towards the projects, with the state government matching this with another $1.5 billion.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the O’Herns Road interchange was among projects to receive funding. However, he did not say how much the government will be contributing, or when.
“Following our commitment to invest in an urban congestion package, the O’Herns Road interchange has been included,” he said.
The state government has already committed $40.7million to the interchange, with Whittlesea council providing $12.5 million.
The project requires $67 million from the federal government, and includes on/off ramps at the Hume Freeway at O’Herns Road at Epping North, duplication of 1.4 kilometres of O’Herns Road east of the interchange, extra lanes of the Hume Freeway between O’Herns Road and Cooper Street, and traffic lights to replace the roundabout at High Street, O’Herns, Findon and Epping roads.
Whittlesea council has long lobbied for the interchange to relieve congestion at the Hume Freeway’s Cooper Street interchange and provide 45,000 residents in Epping North with direct freeway access. The council’s partnerships and engagement director, Liana Thompson, said the funding was welcome news for Whittlesea commuters.
“We’ve been lobbying the federal government to fund O’Herns Road, so this is a particularly exciting announcement. With the state government already committed … this project can now go ahead,” she said.
“We know traffic congestion is a huge issue in our community, and we’ve been calling on all levels of government to provide much-needed infrastructure.”