A five-bay truck stop opened on the western outskirts of Moe this morning is expected to reduce fatigue and heavy vehicle accidents amongst the freight industry, VicRoads says.
The six-month project which cost $2.96 million has improved car parking near McDonald's restaurant and Old Gippstown and improved existing on and off-ramps to the highway to allow for easier access for heavy vehicles.
It is the only major rest area for trucks in Latrobe City along the highway and suitable for B doubles, with the next closest rest areas at Longwarry and Flynn, respectively.
VicRoads eastern region operations manager Rebecca Chase said the improvements would give truck drivers more options to pull up and have a rest and reduce the likelihood of crashes on one of the region's busiest road.
"The amount of freight that passes through this part of the state is only increasing so we need to provide safe areas for people to stop and rest to make sure they safely make it to their destination," Ms Chase said on Thursday.
"Moe was an area that already had facilities available for use, it's far enough from residential areas that it won't cause inconvenience with trucks stopping and it seemed like a suitable mid point between existing rest areas."
The project was started in November and completed earlier this month, with trucks pulling into the bay during a media conference with VicRoads staff and state government officials on Thursday.
Member for McMillian Russell Broadbent welcomed the new rest area, alongside Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Roads Ros Spence, who said much work was being done to improve Gippsland's main highway.
"We want rest stops for truck drivers, we want truck drivers to succeed in their job, we want them to be safe and we want them to be ... a wanted part of a community so these truck stops are very important to the health and wellbeing of truck drivers," he said.
"We know that the highway needs improvement all the way from here through Gippsland to the boarder and I think governments of both persuasions have all put emphasis onto improving that."
The project was jointly funded by the federal and state governments to reduce the risk of crashes along the Princes Highway between Longwarry and the NSW border.