Tenders have been called for vital upgrades to a stretch of the Western Highway in Victoria.

VicRoads has put out the invitation for organisations to complete a 15.4 km upgrade of the highway between Ballarat and Stawell.

The state’s road planning agency says the 'Western Highway Project – Beaufort to Buangor' seeks to patch up a link of the critical chain between Melbourne and Adelaide.

“The duplication of the highway will be built to current highway standards, which will allow safe overtaking, improve freight efficiency and reduce the risk of head-on and run-off crashes,” Western Highway Project Director Michael McCarthy says, “the key features of this new project will include new bridges at Fiery Creek, Middle Creek and Charliecombe Creek, a separated full diamond interchange at Eurambeen-Streatham Road and new roadside rest areas in both directions.”

Funds totalling $505 million have been put up by both State and Federal governments as part of the Nation Building Program’s Western Highway upgrade. The governments are looking for construction to start early next year, with an expected completion in 2015.

Expressions of interest can be lodged at the VicRoads site