South Gippsland Highway Black Spur Koonwarra to Meeniyan

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 - June 2018

Several nationally significant species have been identified within the project area which has required a referral to the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) to assess whether the project will have a significant impact on these. 

Earlier this year the Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) advised VicRoads that the project required further information to assess the likelihood of the project having a significant impact on Strzelecki Gums and Australian Grayling. We are currently compiling  the additional information requested by DoEE and it is expected that this documentation will be advertised in coming months for public comment.

Extensive cultural heritage investigations have also been completed for the project and a cultural heritage management plan has been submitted to Aboriginal Victoria for approval. Once approved, significant salvage works of aboriginal artefacts will be undertaken prior to works starting.

Start of works are expected in early to mid 2019 once approval has been received under the EPBC Act and completion of salvage works.

View an artist’s impression of how the new realignment may look. 

smaler artist impression of how the new realignment may look on South Gippsland Highway Black Spur Koonwarra to Meeniyan    

View a version of an artist’s impression of how the new realignment may look Figure 1 (JPG 6.9Mb]

smaller artist impression of how the new realignment may look on South Gippsland Highway Black Spur Koonwarra to Meeniyan  

View a version of an artist’s impression of how the new realignment may look Figure 2 (JPG 2.7Mb] 

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]

Benefits

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 and 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 environmental studies progress, more information will be available for public comment on the likely project impacts on  the Strzelecki Gum and Australian Grayling under the EPBC Act.  Following approval, a contract will be awarded to commence construction early next year. 

Once works begin next year, 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 late 2018 Upcoming
Construction to start early to mid 2019 Upcoming
Construction to finish mid to late 2021 Upcoming

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