Princes Freeway at Morwell to reopen next month

A rain-damaged bypass on the Princes Freeway at Morwell will re-open in September – seven months after it was closed

By Ruza Zivkusic | August 24, 2011

The Princes Freeway in the Victorian region of Morwell that was damaged due to heavy rain will re-open in September – seven months after it was closed.

The rain damaged a stormwater drain on the bypass, while bickering between the Victorian Government and Hazelwood Power over who should pay to fix the drain slowed down repair works.

It is now expected the freeway will reopen on September 24 at its designated 110 km/h speed limit.

Victorian Acting Minister for Roads Michael O’Brien says the road’s closure has been "an extremely complex and challenging situation" for Morwell residents.

Morwell MP Russell Northe is calling on O’Brien, who is also the Minister for Energy and Resources, to undertake measures to ensure the La Trobe Valley community is well-informed about the reopening of the freeway.

"One would understand that many local residents and indeed many local businesses have been impacted by the closure of the freeway and the additional traffic through the main CBD area of Morwell," Northe says.

"Additional traffic in and around the surrounding streets has caused much consternation.

"With respect to communities relating to the incident, this information has been conveyed a number of different forums, with police certainly being a strong presence on radio and television along with the Department of Primary Industries and Neighbourhood Watch."

The closure at Morwell has had a significant impact on businesses and the community. Traffic has been diverted through the township, which Dyers Gippsland Transport Director David Dyer says has added an extra 30 minutes to each round trip to Melbourne.

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