A Hume Freeway interchange at O’Herns Road is a step closer, with work about to start on stage two of the project.

The contract for the second stage of the  $103 million O’Herns Road upgrade was recently awarded to VEC Civil Engineering, following federal government approvals for the project.

The upgrade is funded by the federal and state governments.

The second stage of the project includes building new traffic light-controlled intersections along O’Herns Road at Edgars Road, Gateway Boulevard and Koukoura Drive.

A diamond interchange providing direct access to the freeway will also be built, along with a new lane in each direction along O’Herns Road between the freeway and Redding Rise.

Federal Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said the work would begin as soon as possible.

“This upgrade will improve access to the Hume Freeway and the surrounding northern suburbs, busting congestion in the area, and getting people home sooner and safer,” he said.

“This region is experiencing extraordinary growth and this investment will help freight access overseas and interstate markets.”

State Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the project would improve connection and encourage economic activity and jobs across the Epping region.

“This area of Melbourne is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country and this project is part of the government’s record investment in major infrastructure improvements to better connect communities,” she said.

The work is expected to start this month and will be finished by mid-2021.

Stage one of the project was completed in February and involved installing traffic lights at the intersection of O’Herns Road and High Street.