Australian contractor John Holland has been awarded a AU$ 152 million (US$ 164 million) contract for upgrades to 23 km of Australia's Western Highway between Burrumbeet, a town in western Victoria, and the township of Trawalla in the mid-west of the state.

The project is a major part of the broader Western Highway upgrade programme between the city of Ballarat on the Yarrowee River catchment, and Stawell, a town in the Wimmera region of Victoria.

John Holland - a subsidiary of Australian contractor Leighton - was awarded the contract by the Victoria state road and traffic authority VicRoads.

The project includes construction of a four-lane road and a bypass to the south of the Trawalla township. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2012 with completion expected in June 2014.

The Western Highway is the principal road link between the Australian capital Melbourne and the southern coastal city of Adelaide.

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