ROADS Minister Luke Donnellan was at Carrum Downs Industrial Estate on Thursday 3 May to provide detail about duplication of Lathams Road.
The $80 million plus project announced in the state budget two days earlier will see the industrial estate’s main road converted from two to four lanes for 2.5 kilometres between Frankston–Dandenong Road and Oliphant Way. The work will include a second bridge over Peninsula Link parallel to the existing bridge, creating two lanes in each direction.
The Carrum Downs project is part of the state government’s Suburban Roads Upgrade, $2.2 billion to improve arterial roads in the southeast including in Cranbourne, Dandenong South and Pakenham as well as five roads in the northern suburbs.
Mr Donnellan said expressions of interest would be sought mid-year, contractors appointed in early 2019 and completion in 2020.
“The $2.2 billion package is about boosting local economies by building a more efficient road network,” he said.
“Productivity in the industrial estate could be lifted 20 per cent after duplication.”
Ginevra Hosking, CEO of advocacy group Committee for Greater Frankston, said the project would “provide a massive boost to productivity by reducing traffic congestion and increasing access at peak times”.
“The industrial estate is one of our region’s economic success stories. It generates $2.85 billion a year and employs almost 6000 people. Job growth in the precinct has risen 6.5 per cent each year, 13 times greater than the south eastern region’s half a per cent.”
She said traffic congestion on Lathams Road and surrounding streets had hampered the growth of industrial estate businesses in recent years.
Mr Donnellan acknowledged the role of Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny in advocating for the project as well as the work of Committee for Greater Frankston.
Ms Kilkenny said the committee had “made it easier for me to push the project”. She said making industrial estate businesses more efficient would create more jobs. “Businesses here have created an economic powerhouse for the region.”
VicRoads’ director of metro projects east Brendan Pauwels said the project would include four lanes, the new bridge, a shared path, traffic lights at Stephenson Rd, Frankston Gardens Drive and Colemans Road, and two lanes each way on and off EastLink (Rutherford Road).
* Mike Hast is a freelance writer for the Committee for Greater Frankston