CPB Contractors has secured a contract to deliver new lanes, entry and exit ramps and a freeway management system to raise capacity and boost safety on the M80 ring road in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The project involves upgrading a 4km road section between Sydney Road and Edgars Road.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack has described the $518m project as ‘state-shaping’.

McCormack added: “This is the fifth section of the ring road to be undertaken, bringing the M80 one step closer to the completion of a full upgrade.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the upgrade will offer a range of benefits enabling drivers to travel faster and safer.

Tudge said: “This upgrade will add new lanes, boost capacity, bust congestion and remove dangerous weaving by traffic at entry and exit points to make the M80 ring road safer and more efficient.

“The upgrades to the M80 will remove bottlenecks in Melbourne’s growing northern suburbs and bring relief to thousands of drivers each day, providing better access to local and arterial roads.”

Since 2014, there have been a total of 88 crashes between Sydney Road and Edgars Road, including 28 serious injury crashes and one fatality.

Most of these crashes took place on freeway sliproads or their merging lanes.

The installation of a freeway management system with overhead electronic signs will provide drivers with real-time travel information to ease traffic flow.

The system consists of overhead variable speed limits and ramp signals to manage access onto the ring road.

The upgrade is also expected to provide lanes and connections for cutting down congestion.

Victorian Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny said: “New ramps connecting the Hume Freeway and Edgars Road will give our community a safer and more efficient connection to the ring road.”

Construction on this section of the M80 ring road is expected to begin in early 2020 and be completed by early 2023.

Upgrades on the M80 ring road project commenced in 2009, with sections between Western Highway to Sydney Road and Edgars Road to Plenty Road completed.

The Australian and Victorian governments are jointly investing $1bn for the M80 upgrade, which is being delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria.

Following completion, the M80 ring road upgrade project is expected to provide more reliable connections to major freeways and interstate links, including the Hume Highway and future North East Link.