The Government of Victoria in Australia has initiated construction work on stage two of the A$1.4bn ($900m) Monash Freeway upgrade programme.

The move comes after the state and federal governments committed an additional A$367.5m to upgrade the freeway last September.

The project work will help to strengthen the capacity of the Monash Freeway and accommodate the growing traffic in the expanding south east.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “We want to meet the huge demand for this corridor, which is why, beyond adding extra lanes, we’re improving links to the Monash.

“It’s all part of the Federal Government’s record A$100bn pipeline of infrastructure projects helping Australians reach their destinations more safely and quickly.”

Project work involves building an additional lane in both directions between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road, as well as expanding the section between Springvale Road and EastLink from eight to ten lanes.

The programme also includes rehabilitating the Beaconsfield Interchange and extending the O’Shea Road in Berwick.

In addition, new overhead gantries will be installed to provide motorists on the freeway with real-time traffic information.

This project is expected to create thousands of local jobs during the construction period.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “The freeway will remain open during peak periods, and we’ll schedule any major lane closures outside of busy times.”

The Monash Freeway upgrade programme is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Earlier this month, the Victorian Government announced plans to set up a tolling company for the proposed North East Link road project.

In September, the government deployed automated and connected vehicle technology at the intersection of Williamstown Road and Somerville Road in Yarraville, Melbourne.

The technology will trial light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors to monitor the intersection and analyse collisions.