Western Ring Road upgrade removes steep gradient

Upgrade to Western Ring Road opens, getting rid of steep gradients which caused problems for vehicles

July 4, 2012

An upgraded section of the Western Ring Road in Victoria has opened to traffic to give truck drivers a smoother, flatter ride on the route.

The federal and Victorian governments have officially opened the three additional Greensborough-bound lanes on the six-lane Moonee Ponds Creek Bridge.

The upgrade realigned the road to remove a steep gradient that had plagued heavy vehicles and annoyed residents.

"Before the realignment, the steep gradients at this section of the highway were a struggle for commercial vehicles which make up to 16 percent of the 142,000 vehicles that travel this road every day," Federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson says.

"The new bridge is six metres higher than the outgoing bridge and has created safer conditions by reducing the difference in speed between heavier and lighter vehicles, and reducing the need for sudden lane changes from light vehicles."

Victorian state MP for Northern Metropolitan Craig Ondarchie says residents will benefit from the Ring Road upgrade.

"In addition to the fantastic transport outcomes this will provide, local residents will no doubt welcome the reduction in noise from trucks previously struggling with the steep grade on this section of the road," he says.

The upgrade is part of a number of works at key locations on the M80 freeway, which include new lanes, traffic management systems and reconfigured interchanges.

The Federal Government has committed $900 million to the $2.25 billion M80 upgrade, with $300 million coming from Victoria. The remaining funds to finish the job will come from future budgets.

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