Drivers in Melbourne’s north are a step closer to a better and safer Epping Road as the Andrews Government’s Suburban Roads Upgrade hits a major new milestone.

The Government released the Request for Proposal (RFP) to deliver the $2.2 billion north and south-eastern road upgrade packages, allowing bidders to submit their plans for the projects.

Short-listed parties will be required to respond to a Request for Proposal for each of the Northern Roads Upgrade and South-Eastern Roads Upgrade in mid-2019.

More than 2,500 pieces of community feedback have been received since proposed designs for 12 road projects in Melbourne’s north and south-eastern suburbs were released last year.

This valuable insight from road users has helped to refine projects, so the upgraded roads can better meet the needs of those who use them every day.

The Northern Roads Upgrade will fix six priority roads and improve and maintain hundreds of kilometres of arterial roads across Melbourne’s north.

Epping Road in Epping is among the key routes being upgraded, with extra lanes added between Craigieburn Road East and Memorial Avenue in each direction. This will cut congestion and travel times for more than 27,000 drivers.

This upgrade will improve access to Epping Road as a key arterial route, directing traffic off the Hume Freeway and local roads and giving these streets back to the local community.

Traffic lights will be installed at intersections including Craigieburn Road East and Harvest Home Road, and safety barriers will also be introduced.

Public consultation highlighted the need for better active transport options, so in addition to new walking and cycling paths, on-road bicycle lanes will be introduced on either side of Epping Road between Lyndarum Drive and Memorial Avenue.

The community has also helped to implement other changes including a new U-turn between Taggerty Grove and Fletcher Street and moving the proposed U-turn closer to Jordi Place to improve access to side streets and local businesses.

The length of the right-turning lane will also be increased to boost capacity for those heading south along Epping Road and turning right onto O’Herns Road.

Meanwhile work is well underway on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade, the first part of the Suburban Roads Upgrade, with all eight major road upgrades now under construction from Altona North to Tarneit.

The Suburban Roads Upgrade marks the Government’s biggest ever investment in arterial roads, with $4 billion to be spent on upgrades in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

Construction on the northern and south eastern road upgrades is expected to start from 2020 and is due to be completed at the end of 2025.

Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny

 “Locals who rely on Epping Road every day know the frustration of sitting in traffic – and they’ve helped shape this long-awaited upgrade, which will make using this road easier and safer.”

“I will be pushing hard to make sure Epping Road is duplicated as the highest priority.”