Mike Stevens | May 5, 2010

THE VICTORIAN Government announced this week that it will invest $490.2 million in improving the state's road network in 2010. The announcement forms part of the 2010 State Budget's $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.

Roads Minister Tim Pallas said the projects will be carried out across the whole state, with the ultimate goal being to reduce congestion and improve safety, while enhancing inter-community connections.

"We have more than quadrupled funding for improving and upgrading our road network, which has contributed to Victoria’s record low road toll over the past seven years,” Mr Pallas said.

The funding will be split over a range of projects, including a $129 million spend on upgrading regional roads, and $66 million on upgrading key routes to Melbourne's outer suburbs.

A $19.3 million noise wall will be built along sections of the Monash Freeway, and $77 million will go towards a major upgrade to the Geelong Ring Road.

In partnership with the Federal Government, Victoria will put nearly $61 million towards major roads and infrastructure projects around the state, for a total combined spend of around $231 million.

Mr Pallas said more than $5 billion in major road projects were currently underway in Victoria, including the $759 million Peninsula Link project, the M80 Ring Road Upgrade and the $1.39 billion M1 Upgrade.

“This year also saw the completion of the $140 million Springvale Road Rail Separation project [Nunawading], in conjunction with the Commonwealth Government, ahead of schedule and on budget,” Mr Pallas said.

Nearly $17 million will be spent on the use of new Automated Number Plate Recognition technology, giving police a greater ability to detect unregistered vehicles, unauthorised drivers and motorists who have defaulted on fines.

The new camera technology is being rolled out in other states, with NSW, SA and Tasmania announcing similar plans in recent months.

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