Work will soon be underway on a new 11km trail between Pakenham and Koo Wee Rup in Melbourne’s outer south-east.
The two-way shared path will run next to the upgraded north-south arterial—Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road—that connects the two centres through flat horticultural farmland.
It will be one of the longest trails built in or near metropolitan Melbourne.
Eventually it will connect to a network of trails proposed in Cardinia Shire, including the Southern Rail Trail east of Clyde to Nyora, the Princess Highway trail to Pakenham, and the Rail Towns Trail from Pakenham to Bunyip.
The arterial upgrade includes new intersections, bridges and extensive safety treatments as well as an extra lane in both directions between the Princes Freeway and Manks Road.
The contract to deliver the project has been awarded to Seymour Whyte and McConnell Dowell, with early works already underway and major construction scheduled to begin later this year.
It is expected to be completed during 2025.
Funding is jointly from the federal and state governments.
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road Upgrade will improve safety and help reduce travel times for the tens of thousands of motorists that rely on this busy key route every day.
“Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road is a vital connection for the south-east, and this upgrade will provide a huge benefit for the area, while also creating local jobs,” Mr Fletcher said.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, the Hon Jacinta Allan MP, said the upgrade includes duplicating the road from two to four lanes from the Princes Highway to Manks Road, as well duplications from two to four lanes from the Princess Freeway to Soldiers Road, and Soldiers Road to Manks Road.
“Major works will commence this year, with the benefits of the project to be felt right across the growing south-east suburbs,” Ms Allan said.