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

Construction overview

Works are in full swing as the realignment of the South Gippsland Highway between Koonwarra and Meeniyan progresses.

What we’re doing

Over the coming months, work is happening across the project to:

  • construct temporary bridges to help us access difficult-to-reach areas of the project
  • divert the Great Southern Rail Trail for a short distance in two areas to enable construction of an underpass and retaining walls
  • excavate further soil to level out the ground.
  • create the foundations of the new bridges and install retaining walls.
What you can expect

Traffic changes

The speed limit remains at 60km/h (at times reduced to 40km/h) on the South Gippsland Highway in this area. When required traffic is being reduced to a single lane with traffic lights controlling alternative lanes of traffic. Drivers may also experience short delays to allow trucks to transport soil from the project.

Please take extra care when driving, cycling or walking near the construction area and observe any traffic management and directional signage in place.

Great Southern Rail Trail

We’re upgrading the Great Southern Rail Trail by building a new pedestrian underpass. While we install the new concrete structure to form the underpass, there will be closures of the Great Southern Rail Trail near Koonwarra in July.

A 100 metre section of the rail trail will be closed between Monday 12 July to Friday 16 July (24 hours a day) and again on Monday 26 July (8am to 5pm).

From Monday 19 July to Friday 30 July pedestrians will have access through this area, however pedestrians will be escorted through the site and should expect intermittent delays of up to 30 mins. 

Weekend pedestrian access will be maintained and the rail trail will completely reopen to all users from Saturday 31 July.

While the trail is completely closed to pedestrians, a bus service will run on the hour and half hour from Meeniyan and Koonwarra for walkers and cyclists.

From Koonwarra (to Meeniyan) From Meeniyan (to Koonwarra)
8am 8.30am
9am 9.30am
10am 10.30am
11am 11.30am
12pm 12.30pm
1pm 1.30pm
2pm 2.30pm
3pm 3.30pm
4pm 4.30pm
5pm 5.30pm

It is recommended that horses do not travel through the area during this time due to the close proximity of heavy machinery.

Underpass construction

When the project is complete, rail trail users will travel through an underpass to be constructed at the Koonwarra end of the project, with the road above the rail trail. While works to construct this underpass are underway, the rail trail has been diverted for approximately 100 metres in this area.

Conceptual drawing of underpass approaching from Meeniyan direction

Conceptual drawing of underpass approaching from Meeniyan direction.

Rail trail diversion

Closer to Meeniyan, the trail will be diverted for approximately 200 metres under the newly constructed bridge, re-joining the existing rail trail further towards Meeniyan.

This permanent diversion will be in place from early 2021. Though there will be further minor changes to the path as works progress, there will be minimal interruption to rail trail users.

Conceptual drawing of bridge (approaching from Koonwarra direction)

Conceptual drawing of bridge approaching from Koonwarra direction.

Ongoing monitoring for fossil material

We continue to work with our project palaeontologists as we monitor for potential fossilised material within the project alignment.

Both project staff and palaeontologists are on the lookout for material similar to that found in the nearby Koonwarra Fossil Bed, which has previously yielded fossilised fish, plants, insects, and feathers dating from the early Cretaceous period 115 million years ago.

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