Work on the $4.46 million project to duplicate Hume Drive between Delahey and Taylors Hill has begun.

The upgrades will see the stretch of road between Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill, and Copperfield Drive, Delahey, extended from two lanes to four.

The improvements will also include traffic lights at the intersection of Hume Drive and Overton Lea Boulevard.

Existing roundabouts will also be upgraded and landscaping works will be completed.

The improvements are being jointly funded by Melton and Brimbank councils because the stretch of road falls within both municipalities.

Melton City Council will shoulder the lion’s share of the project, contributing $3.54 million.

At its meeting last December the council awarded the contract to ACE Infrastructure.

Melton mayor Bob Turner said the duplication works would mean an easier commute for residents.

“The upgrades will significantly improve road safety and cater for increased traffic associated with our growing population,” Cr Turner said.

The duplication is one of dozens of Melton infrastructure works budgeted for the next financial year as part of the council’s $52 million capital works program.

The Brimbank council is putting up a total of $915,000 for the Hume Drive work.

Brimbank deputy mayor Daniel Allan said the upgrades will help get traffic moving along the busy stretch of road.

“Brimbank council is pleased to support this exciting project which will expand Hume Drive.

“These works will improve traffic flow for neighbouring residents in Brimbank and Melton,” Cr Allan said.

Construction is expected to be completed by mid to late 2018.

Hume Drive will remain open throughout the duration of construction works.