Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Western Highway – Beaufort and Ararat Bypass Planning

Funding Program:Investment Road and Rail Program
Transport Mode:Road
Expected Start/Finish:Late 2014 - Early 2018
Estimated Project Cost:$4,000,000
Australian Government Contribution:$3,000,000
Local Council/Shire:Ararat Rural City Council,Pyrenees Shire Council
Corridor:Melbourne - Adelaide

Project Description

The project undertook planning for the proposed bypasses at Beaufort and Ararat. The project identified the preferred alignments and undertook public consultations to allow for the bypasses to be constructed in the future.  The project is complemented by two other projects, the Beaufort Bypass Preconstruction project and the Ararat Bypass Preconstruction project, which will complete all planning processes and commence preconstruction activities for both sites.


The Western Highway is an important transport route that connects Melbourne and Adelaide. However the safety and efficiency of the highway is affected due to increased traffic and the need for motorists to travel through townships such as Beaufort and Ararat. Currently motorists travelling through Beaufort and Ararat are required to reduce their speed from 110 km/h to 50 km/h and stop at traffic lights and roundabouts. As a result, travel times and vehicle operating costs have increased while local amenity and safety has been affected.

To address these issues, planning studies were required to identify the preferred alignments and amend the relevant planning schemes to allow the bypasses to be constructed in the future.


The estimated cost of the project was $4 million. The Australian Government contributed $3 million and the Victorian Government $1 million.


The project commenced on 16 September 2014 and was considered complete on 30 March 2018.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this site is made available on the understanding that the Department is not thereby engaged in rendering professional advice for a particular purpose. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the information for their purposes and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

Project details last updated: 19/12/2018