THE Calder Highway will have a lower speed limit on the approach to the notorious Ravenswood intersection.
VicRoads says the move to reduce the limit from 100km/h to 80km/h was its last remaining option to improve road safety at the site.
“It is the only practical alternative to reducing this ongoing safety concern while we prepare to build the new interchange,” regional director Mal Kersting said.
The new speed limit will apply to a 800 metre stretch from the Bendigo approach of the Calder Highway between Bickfords Road to a short distance north of Calder Alternative Highway intersection.
The traffic black spot has been listed for an $86-million upgrade, with an overpass to connect the Calder Alternative Highway across the Calder Highway.
Mr Kersting said there was a concerning pattern of crashes and near misses at the site.
He said there had been three casualty crashes at the intersection since the upgrade was announced in August last year.
“There is evidence of skid marks near this intersection where vehicles travelling toward Bendigo on the Calder Highway have had to suddenly brake to avoid vehicles travelling from the Marong direction to cross the Calder Highway,” he said.
“This is despite the fact that there have been a range of safety improvements implemented over the last few years.”
The approach to the intersection has large stop signs, flashing signs and additional line markings in an effort to warn motorists.
Mr Kersting said earlier this month “apart from putting a policeman at the intersection I’m not sure what more we could do to get the message across”.
He said on Tuesday the reduced speed limit “provides a balance between safety and mobility”.
Calder Highway Improvement Committee community representative David Hutchings said it was an "excellent measure".
He said it was the right thing to lower the limit, but said there were too many temporary 80km/h zones on the Calder Highway.
"Too many of them are an alternative to fixing the issues," he said.
Mr Kersting said the works on the interchange were running on schedule and surveying works on the interchange have been completed.
He said VicRoads planned to introduce the new 80km/h limit within the next two weeks, which will remain in place until the new Ravenswood Interchange is completed in 2017.