South Gippsland Highway Black Spur Koonwarra

We’re realigning the South Gippsland Highway between Koonwarra and Meeniyan to improve safety and efficiency.

The Australian and Victorian Governments have jointly funded $50 million for the realignment of this section of the highway known locally as ‘Black Spur’.

Project update 

Pre-construction activities are well advanced, including discussions with affected landowners and key stakeholders, while geotechnical investigations and road and bridge design are currently underway.

Works on ground are expected to commence in mid 2018 and we’ll continue to work with landowners, the community and stakeholders throughout the project.
Construction will take approximately three years to complete.

View Project Update August 2017 [PDF 3.5Mb]

Project background

The South Gippsland Highway is a major link in Victoria’s rural road network and is the main route to major ports and markets in Melbourne. 

It supports vital industries including agriculture, dairy, oil and gas as well as providing access to major tourist destinations in South Gippsland including the iconic Wilson’s Promontory.
The existing alignment of the highway has resulted in frequent run off road crashes, freight delays and safety concerns for road users. 

A preferred route was chosen more than a decade ago after extensive community consultation and the land was secured when funding was made available. A planning permit was also issued to carry out the highway realignment.

About the project

The project involves:
  • Construction of a new section of highway between Old Koonwarra-Meeniyan Road and Minns Road to reduce the length of highway from 3.4km to 2.3km
  • Removal of nine sharp corners
  • Construction of two new bridges over the Tarwin River
  • Construction of a highway underpass east of the new Caithness Road intersection for the Great Southern Rail Trail 
  • Realign the Great Southern Rail Trail under the new river bridge at Minns Road 
  • Closure of access to the old section of highway to through traffic east of Caithness Road while retaining access for local residents
  • A new intersection will retain access to Caithness Road and improvements to the existing intersection at Minns Road
  • Safety barrier installation in accordance with Safe System principles
As a result, the highway will be upgraded to ‘A’ class road standard.  The project will also investigate other safety improvements between Meeniyan and Yarram.
SGH-Black Spur_Concept-Map-JUN17-ACC(small)
View a larger version of the South Gippland Highway - Black Spur  Koonwarra map [PDF 279Kb]


The realignment of the highway will improve:

  • safety by reducing run-off road crashes
  • efficiency and connectivity of freight travel times for all road users

Community & stakeholder involvement

We’ve been working with key stakeholders, including landowners, on the planning of this project for more than 10 years. 

Stakeholders include the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), South Gippsland Shire, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Southern Rural Water, Museum Victoria, Geological Survey Victoria, Nerrena Land Care Group and the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management.

Feedback provided by a recent community information session is helping shape the design of the old highway which could now include maintaining links to Caithness and Minns Road to the Rail Trail and re-naming the old highway through South Gippsland Shire Council.

Environmental management

We’re committed to protecting the environment while balancing safety, transport and community needs and the impact to landowners. 

We understand and share the value community places on trees and vegetation and we’ll work to minimise impacts. As the construction phase of the project progresses we’ll work with the local Landcare group to improve vegetation in the areas nearby.

While this project will see the removal of some trees including eucalypts, we’re working closely with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and South Gippsland Shire Council to ensure appropriate vegetation is provided for the project.

The project will have little or no impact on the Koonwarra fossil site at Minns Road.

We also recognise the importance of significant cultural heritage identified at this location and are developing management plans to minimise the project’s impact on cultural heritage.

What happens next?

As preconstruction works are underway, we’ll review existing approvals to ensure they are up to date.

We’ll shortlist suitable contractors and expect to award the design and construction contract in mid 2018.

Works on the ground will begin in mid 2018 and we’ll continue to work with adjacent landowners, the community and stakeholders throughout the project.

We will keep disruption to traffic to a minimum during construction and encourage traffic to continue to use South Gippsland Highway as the safest route between Koonwarra and Meeniyan.

Contact us

If you have any queries, or would like to join the mailing list to receive project updates:

Call: VicRoads South Eastern Projects – Traralgon on (03) 5172 2329
Email: [email protected]
Write: Project Director - South Eastern Projects, PO Box 158 Traralgon Vic 3844
Visit: 120 Kay Street, Traralgon, Victoria

Key Dates
Milestone Title Milestone Description Milestone Status (Completed/Current/Upcoming
Contract Award early 2018 Upcoming
Construction to start early/mid 2018 Upcoming
Construction to finish mid 2021 Upcoming

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