Part of Calder Alternative near Bendigo closes for three months of roadworks

Part of the Calder Alternative Highway will be closed to all Melbourne-bound traffic for three months from next week as work on the Ravenswood Interchange upgrade continues.

To allow construction of the elevated circular road to continue, the southbound lane of the highway will be closed to traffic between the Bendigo-Maldon Road and the Calder Highway for three months from August 17.

The northbound lane towards Marong will remain open while the work is under way and a signed detour route will be in place for southbound drivers, including freight vehicles, via Lockwood Road and the Calder Highway.

As part of the works, the U-turn bay near Beilharz Road will also close permanently from the same day.

As the bay will not reopen to traffic, drivers wanting to travel southbound on the Calder Highway are advised to use the U-turn bay located near Belvoir Park Road.

Construction on the $86 million upgrade began in February, with $41 million in state government funding and a $45 million contribution from the Commonwealth government.

Once complete, the Ravenswood Interchange will become a Victorian-first elevated circular roadway that will separate freight and slow-moving traffic from faster moving traffic.

Truck drivers will no longer have to stop, wait in the median and accelerate to join traffic to enter the Calder Highway as they head towards Melbourne.

When work began earlier this year, the state government forecast the project would contribute up to 800 jobs to the local economy.

The intersection was dubbed “arguably the most dangerous intersection anywhere in Victoria” by former-Premier Denis Napthine, after recording seven casualty crashes in the five years to June 30, 2012.

In 2014 a 30-year-old woman was killed in a crash at the intersection, in which two men and an 8-year-old girl were also injured.

The crash occurred when the vehicle the woman was driving collided with a cement truck.

The works are due to be completed later this year.