The Australian Government of Victoria has commenced construction on the second stage of the O’Herns Road Upgrade in Epping, Melbourne.

A total of A$103m ($69.7m) is being invested by the Australian and Victorian governments on the upgrade project.

The project is part of the government’s plan to reduce traffic congestion and cut travel times for drivers regularly using the road.

Three new intersections with traffic lights will be created as part of the upgrade works.

It also involves improving north-south connections between Cooper Street and O’Herns Road.

An interchange providing direct access to the Hume Freeway, as well as the construction of new lanes in each direction on the Hume Freeway and O’Herns Road, are also part of the project.

The project has secured federal environmental permissions. VEC Civil Engineering has received the construction contract.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that the O’Herns Road Upgrade would transform the way residents move across Melbourne’s north.

He said: “This is all part of the Federal Government’s A$100bn pipeline of infrastructure projects over the next decade to bust congestion and get motorists home to their families sooner and safer.”

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the project would improve connections right across Melbourne’s north, encouraging economic growth.

Victorian Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny said: “The new traffic lights at the O’Herns Road and High Street intersection has streamlined traffic flow and reduced queuing for the 30,000 drivers who use the intersection every day.”

Delivered by Major Road Projects Victoria, the project is expected to be complete by mid-2021.

Very recently, the Government of Victoria decided to upgrade three high-risk intersections in Mildura.

It also approved plans to install automated and connected vehicle technology to detect crashes and near-misses. The technology will be deployed at the intersection of Williamstown Road and Somerville Road in Yarraville, Melbourne.