The Monash Freeway is a vital roadway connecting the south-east and outer south-east regions of Melbourne, Australia. The freeway witnesses approximately 470,000 trips a day and the vehicular traffic on the eastern and western ends is expected to respectively grow by 50% and 13% by 2051.

The freeway  is being upgraded by VicRoads to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

The project forms part of the Morrison Government’s strategy for enhancing Melbourne-wide traffic conditions. It is being developed in two stages and will create 600 jobs during construction.

Monash Freeway upgrade background and purpose

The Monash Freeway connects Melbourne’s south-east and outer south-east, which houses major health and educational institutions.

The freeway upgrade will address poor transport capacity of the road, insufficient transportation connections, and the lack of access to financial and educational hubs.

The upgrade is expected to allow an additional 2,000 vehicles an hour during peak travel times and decrease the journey time by ten minutes.

Monash Freeway upgrade stage one details

Construction of the Monash Freeway stage one expansion was started in September 2016 and completed in June 2018. It will add 30km of extra traffic lanes to the Monash Freeway by paving an additional lane in each direction between EastLink interchange and South Gippsland Freeway.

“The project forms part of the Morrison Government’s strategy for enhancing Melbourne-wide traffic conditions.”

The number of lanes was increased between South Gippsland Freeway and Clyde Road in Berwick from two to three.

It also involved the installation of 74 steel gantries for overhead electronic signage and 2,000 permanent concrete barriers, and widening of eight bridges. The overhead electronic signage allows remote lane management to facilitate traffic movement.

The Monash Freeway upgrade stage one was developed, along with the West Gate Tunnel Project to improve traffic flow between Melbourne’s west and south-east.

Monash Freeway upgrade stage two details

Stage two construction started in October 2018 and is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

It involves the 36km addition of new lanes to the Monash and Princes freeways. It will add new lanes to segments between Warrigal Road and Eastlink outbound, Eastlink and Springvale Road inbound, as well as Clyde Road and Cardinia Road.

The upgrade will create an outbound on-ramp to connect Police Road with the freeway. It will also connect the Jacksons Road outbound ramps and the Eastlink via a separate road. The Beaconsfield Interchange will also be upgraded by extending the O’Shea Road.

The road between South Gippsland Freeway and the Beaconsfield Interchange will be installed with smart on-road technology, which will provide live traffic information and ensure lane management.

Traffic lights will be added at Skyline Way, Bridgewater Boulevard and Soldiers Road, and shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists will be constructed on O’Shea Road between Clyde Road and the Beaconsfield Interchange.

The upgrade will deliver more benefits for trips originating around Dandenong and Pakenham by reducing the travel time.

The stage two has been added to the Infrastructure Priority List as a High Priority Project.

Financing for the Monash Freeway upgrade

The total investment for the project is $1.1bn, $400m of which was invested in stage one.

The $711m stage two is being funded jointly by the Australian Government ($500m) and the Victorian Government ($211m).

The Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) are also responsible for the approval and funding of the project.

Contractors involved

Fulton Hogan was awarded a contract for surfacing and construction works of the stage one upgrade.

LendLease Engineering, CPB Constructions, and John Holland were shortlisted to submit tenders for stage two of the project.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Australia (PwC) conducted the economic assessment for stage two of the Monash Freeway upgrade.