Safer Calder Highway on the way with Jock Comini Rest Area upgrade

Media Release

DC229/2017

02 August 2017

Joint release with:

Bridget McKenzie

Senator for Victoria

Luke Donnellan

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety

Maree Edwards

Victorian Member for Bendigo West

Work is underway on the $8.2 million upgrade of the Jock Comini Rest Area on the Calder Highway at Ravenswood, with the project set to improve road safety by giving all drivers a better place to take a break.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said upgrading the rest area would make the Calder Highway safer by providing suitable facilities for travellers to help reduce fatigue-related crashes.

“Motorists using the Calder Highway often cover large distances and rest areas are an important part of delivering a safer road network—one of the main priorities of the Australian Government's record $75 billion infrastructure investment,” Mr Chester said.

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the Calder Highway, a major road link between Bendigo and Melbourne, is an important route for locals, tourists and industry.

“This section of the Calder Highway carries 6,500 southbound vehicles each day, including more than 500 heavy vehicles—that's why we're investing in a better spot for drivers to take a break,” Mr Donnellan said.

Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said the rest area in Ravenswood was established in 1994 to commemorate the late Maldon councillor Jock Comini O.A.M., and was currently inaccessible for larger vehicles such as caravans, semi-trailers and B-doubles.

“This significant upgrade will include the installation of exit and entry ramps along the southbound carriageway, as well as new parking bays suitable for larger vehicles, providing a convenient rest stop for all travellers,” Senator McKenzie said.

Victorian Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said that drivers could expect some delays during construction.

“We're asking drivers to allow an extra five minutes for their daily journeys when travelling along these routes. We know that roadworks can be frustrating, but we need to get this done to improve the rest area,” Ms Edwards said.

Construction on the project will begin this month with completion expected in early 2018. The existing Jock Comini Memorial Reserve will be closed for the duration of the upgrade works.

The Australian Government has committed $6.15 million and the Victorian Government $2.05 million to fund the upgrade.