A DUAL carriageway, new cycling and pedestrian paths, speed limit changes and intersection upgrades will be considered as part of a $3.5 million plan for the Calder Highway at Maiden Gully.
The study will include consultation with the Maiden Gully community, the City of Greater Bendigo and VicRoads to find solutions to the increased volume of traffic.
On average, 11,700 vehicles pass through the area per day – an increase of 4.7 per cent in the last 10 years, four times the average rate of traffic growth around Bendigo.
The funding, announced in this year’s state budget, will not go towards any physical works.
VicRoads acting regional director northern region Brian Westley said it was important to complete a comprehensive study before funding could be allocated to specific road projects.
“There are a lot of competing demands, this is a major corridor connecting the north of Victoria to not just Bendigo, but also other parts of the state,” he said.
“We’ve also got residential and business growth.
“It’s really important that we look at all those things when we’re planning for whatever upgrades are needed here.
“I don’t want to sit here and say that we will categorically duplicate or add lanes, but that will be part of the investigation.”
The study will focus on the Calder Highway and Marong Road from Ironbark to Monsants Road.
Housing development will continue to expand on the northern side of the Calder Highway at Maiden Gully, and a further development is planned on the suburb’s western fringe.
The Marong Business Park is also expected to increase the volume of traffic.
Land acquisitions could be considered if the study recommends significant changes to the Calder.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said $3.5 million would ensure the plan considered all options and would allow VicRoads and the council to engage with all other relevant stakeholders.
“This planning will not just be about the road, it will also be about walking paths and bike paths for the community which is why we want to make sure that the community has a say in this planning,” she said.
“The plan will obviously look at the future needs of Marong as well, but mostly it will be looking at the development of the road and what can be done to support traffic users between Ironbark and Maiden Gully.
“The City of Greater Bendigo have their integrated transport study out there, and this is part of formulating that and putting that together.”
The plan will begin in early 2018 and is expected to take two years to complete.