The opening of EastLink and the interchange with the northern section of the Mornington Peninsula Freeway in 2008 led to speculation of congestion on the Frankston Freeway, especially at the southern terminus at McMahons Road on the Moorooduc Highway. VicRoads however did not publicly anticipate such congestion would actually occur, with Federal MP Bruce Billson raising this issue in the local press and in parliament. The Victorian Transport Minister Peter Batchelor has stated that simply because the freeway's projected path appears on a map (referring to the route shown in the Melway), that this does not mean that the road is intended to, or will ever actually be built. City of Frankston councillors however, along with Mr. Billson, are pushing for the bypass to be built.
On 28 October 2007 the Federal Liberal Party pledged a maximum of $150 million towards constructing the road toll free if elected, to be matched by Victorian Government. They were defeated at the election. In April 2008 the Southern and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority (SEITA) decided that the preferred option for a Frankston Bypass was a high standard, continuous, duplicated road in the existing road reserve from Carrum Downs to Mount Martha. A group of Moorooduc residents claimed they were not consulted in the first phase of the project, and the figures had been skewed to show public support for the selected preferred option.
The report said:Traffic on the Moorooduc Highway through Frankston is expected to increase from 45,000 vehicles per day to around 60,000 vehicles per day in 2031....it would take 75 minutes to travel between the southern end of Eastlink and the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Mount Martha during peak periods in 2031. A high standard, continuous, duplicated road from the southern end of Eastlink to the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Mount Martha would reduce travel time in 2031 to around 20 minutes. These projected traffic conditions would arise, even with planned upgrades to roads such as the widening of Western Port Highway. 84% of people who provided feedback during Phase 1 supported a bypass.
The Frankston Bypass would be a 25 km freeway standard road with two lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 100 km/h. A full grade separated junction would be provided with EastLink and the Frankston Freeway, along with full grade separated diamond interchanges at Dandenong-Frankston Road, Cranbourne-Frankston Road, Golf Links Road, Frankston-Flinders Road, Bungower Road and Old Moorooduc Road / Mornington Peninsula Freeway. Interchanges at Skye Road and Mornington-Tyabb Road will have half diamond grade separated with northbound entry, southbound exit ramps. The cost was estimated between $500 million to $750 million.
In September 2008 ConnectEast held talks with Roads Minister Tim Pallas, but the State Government refused to discuss the issue with the media, or promise to build it without tolls. On 16 October 2008 State Premier John Brumby announced the bypass would be built. Costing $700 million and now 27 kilometres long, work would start by the end of 2009. The State Government expected the project would be paid for in partnership with the Federal Government, and confirmed that it would be toll free.
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