The first stage of the road improvement project for the Kiewa Valley highway between Wodonga and Tawonga in Victoria, Australia, is now complete.

The A$8m ($5.4m) project is 50/50 funded by the Australian and Victorian governments. The improvements are aimed at making the route safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The first stage of the improvement works cost A$3.5m ($2.3m). It included sealing road shoulders, safety barriers installation at high-risk locations and a targeted intersection upgrade.

Australian Government deputy prime minister and Transport and Regional Development Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack said: “We recognise the role an efficient road network plays in supporting a region’s economic prosperity, which is why this Kiewa Valley highway upgrade is so essential.

Victoria Senator Bridget McKenzie said: “These works are all part of the federal government’s plan to get Australians home to their families sooner and safer, no matter where they live.

“It’s great to see Stage One complete and I’m looking forward to seeing work get underway on the second stage of the Kiewa Valley highway upgrade which will include improvements at the intersections of Boyd Road, Gundowring and Kergunyah Road, Kergunyah. Works will start later this year, weather permitting.”

The upgrades being delivered also include new warning signs and reflective markers to help drivers during conditions with poor visibility.

The entire upgrade project is expected to be completed by mid-2020.