THE first section of the Western Highway duplication is complete.
The 8.1-kilometre duplication between Ballarat and Burrumbeet officially opened yesterday.
It is section 1A of stage one of the three-stage project.
Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King said the $505-million project would provide major economic benefits to the region.
She said it would also improve access for travellers.
"More than 5500 vehicles, including more than 1300 freight vehicles, will travel on this section of the highway each day and with these numbers expected to double by 2025, this project will accommodate these volumes,'' she said.
Section 1B will see completion of the duplication from Burrumbeet towards Beaufort, while section 1C extends it a further three kilometres to Beaufort.
Stage two of the duplication is between Beaufort and Ararat, while stage three is between Ararat and Stawell.
A financial report released by Victorian Auditor-General Des Pearson in November revealed the duplication's budget was insufficient to complete the project from Ballarat to Stawell and would only enable duplication to Buangor.