Giant beams lifted as construction continues on Ravenswood Interchange

Media Release

DC175/2016

04 November 2016

Joint release with:

Luke Donnellan

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety

Bridget McKenzie

Senator for Victoria

Maree Edwards

Victorian Member for Bendigo West

  • The six 60-tonne beams form part of a bridge that will take Melbourne-bound traffic safely across Bullock Creek
  • The $86 million interchange upgrade to save lives and benefit key agricultural and freight industries

Half a dozen 60-tonne beams have been lifted into place as part of the Ravenswood Interchange, which will carry Calder Highway traffic over Bullock Creek, near Bendigo.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the interchange would fix a notoriously dangerous junction of two highways which has seen many accidents and claimed two lives since 2009.

“The new interchange will increase safety by reducing the need for drivers to find a gap to enter fast-moving highway traffic,” Mr Chester said.

“Reducing road trauma is a bipartisan goal for governments around the country. By working in partnership with the Victorian Government, we are improving driver safety through targeted infrastructure improvements.”

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the beam lift was an important milestone for the project.

“Today we are installing six beams, each weighing 60 tonnes and measuring 36 metres in length. To give you an idea of how heavy these beams are, each one is heavier than one Melbourne tram,” Mr Donnellan said.

“This is a dangerous intersection where several local roads and the Calder Highway and Calder Alternative Highways meet, so I'm pleased we're getting on with this project and working together to make this site safer.”

Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie was on hand today to view the beams being lifted into place and said the upgrade would ensure the interchange was able to handle future growth in freight, local and highway traffic.

“In the coming summer months, we will see much of the Ravenswood Interchange quickly take shape, with the project well on track to be completed in late 2017,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The Ravenswood Interchange will provide a vital efficiency and productivity boost to agriculture and freight, both of which are critical industries for a strong regional Victorian economy.”

Victorian Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards also inspected the beam lift and said the project was an important boost to regional capacity.

“With freight transport expected to double on our roads by 2025, this upgrade will deliver vital improvements to benefit regional road safety and the local economy for decades to come,” Ms Edwards said.

The Australian Government has committed $45 million and the Victorian Government $41 million to the project which is expected to be completed in late 2017.