Calder Highway motorists see welcome relief with new interchange opening
- Major interchange upgrade opens at Ravenswood, south of Bendigo
- The upgrade will reduce congestion and improve safety for freight and motorists travelling to Melbourne
- $86 million project jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments
Calder Highway motorists can now enjoy a safer and more efficient intersection at Ravenswood, south of Bendigo, thanks to the completion of a major interchange upgrade which opened to traffic today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the $86 million Ravenswood Interchange project would benefit freight operators and motorists.
“This important upgrade will improve the efficiency and safety for motorists travelling between Mildura and Melbourne allowing vehicles to continue through the interchange at 110 km/h safely without the need to stop,” Mr McCormack said.
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the project had delivered a grade-separated interchange at the intersection of the Calder Highway and Calder Alternative Highway and two new freeway carriageways from Bullock Creek to Ravenswood Creek.
“The project widened existing bridges and culverts, constructed new service roads and removed various uncontrolled at-grade intersections, vastly improving safety at what was previously a challenging junction,” Mr Donnellan said.
Senators for Victoria Bridget McKenzie and Jane Hume said the Australian Government committed $45 million and the Victorian Government a further $41 million to fund the project.
“The Australian and Victorian Governments worked closely to deliver this critical infrastructure project. Traffic issues on the Calder Highway are well known to families and local truckies alike and we have listened and delivered this vital upgrade,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Continued road upgrades are important not only to manage current traffic concerns but prepare for the future too. The Australian Government is delivering on all fronts for Victoria and for locals and visitors travelling these upgraded roads,” Senator Hume said.
Victorian Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the new circular design will cater for an expected 60% increase in traffic across the nearby road network over the next 30 years.
“This upgrade will improve safety for the 13,000 drivers who use these roads every day, and support our freight industry—delivering long-term economic benefits for Bendigo,” Ms Allan said.
Victorian Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the project complemented the nearby upgrade of the existing Jock Comini Rest Area.
“This is fantastic news for drivers and industry across central Victoria, by providing a safer, less congested and more efficient connection for the whole community,” Ms Edwards said.
The interchange, located 16km south of Bendigo, forms part of a vital connection linking many regional centres across Victoria's north.
With major works now completed, some ongoing minor works, including landscaping, will continue on-site until mid-2018.