Fix the Calder

Next steps to Fix the Calder


We welcomed a $50 million commitment from the State Government towards upgrading the Calder Freeway between Sunbury and the M80, unveiled in the 2021/2022 Victorian Budget.

The announcement responds to this campaign calling on the State and Federal governments to Fix the Calder – and matches the Federal Government’s $50 million commitment.

The combined $100 million commitment is an essential first step towards fixing the Calder.

We're asking state and federal governments to make sure this funding addresses key concerns.

Sign our petition to show your support.

To fix the Calder Freeway we're asking to:

  • Upgrade the Calder Freeway between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the Melton Highway to bring it up to freeway standard:
    • Add lanes from Keilor Park Drive to Melton Highway
    • Widen the Maribyrnong River Bridge
  • Build a full diamond interchange at the intersection of the Calder Freeway and Calder Park Drive
  • Remove the level crossing of the Sunbury train line on Calder Park Drive
  • Duplicate Calder Park Drive between the Calder Freeway and the Melton Highway.
Map drawing showing key spots that require attention

Petition Click here to sign

Fix the Calder - Message from Brimbank Mayor, Cr Ranka Rasic

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BACKGROUND

Brimbank has launched a ‘Fix the Calder Campaign’, seeking immediate and urgent upgrades along the Calder Corridor between the interchanges of the Western Ring Road (M80) and Gap Road in Sunbury.

The Calder Freeway provides the primary road connection between Melbourne and Bendigo, and the agricultural Loddon Mallee region of Victoria. Accordingly, it is a road of strategic economic importance to both Victoria and Australia.

Brimbank’s component of the Calder Freeway provides a vital transport connection for our local community; with many businesses, residents and households from Calder Park, Taylors Lakes, Hillside, Sydenham, Keilor Lodge, Keilor, Keilor Downs, Delahey and Taylors Hill in particular; relying on the Calder as a major transport thoroughfare for their daily commutes to work, study and live.

Whilst Council has welcomed a $50 million commitment from the Federal Government to upgrade the Calder Freeway, the reality is far more will be required, including from the State Government, to improve safety, reduce congestion and provide better access and connections to cater for population and freight growth.

The Calder Freeway has also previously been identified as one of Victoria’s most dangerous stretches of roads.

Between 2015 and 2019, there have been 81 crashes, and over 100 people injured along the Calder Freeway. Sadly, four people have tragically lost their lives, and 24 individuals have suffered serious injuries.

Sections of the Calder Freeway also currently have no emergency stopping lanes and the speed limit drops to 80 kilometres per hour causing safety issues and extensive delays.

Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 ‘Urban Crowding and Congestion Report’ identified that in 2016 the Calder was the seventh most congested road in Melbourne during AM peak, and the ninth in PM peak.

The report went on to demonstrate that by 2031, without upgrades, the Calder Freeway would be the second most congested road in Melbourne during AM peak, and the third in PM peak, costing the economy over $100 million per year.

Brimbank is calling for Calder Freeway to be upgraded to a full freeway standard, with a broad range of infrastructure

improvements including:

  • Upgrade the Calder Freeway between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the Melton Highway to bring it up to freeway standard:

– Add lanes from Keilor Park Drive to Melton highway
– Widen the Maribyrnong River Bridge

  • Construction of a full diamond interchange at the intersection of the Calder Freeway and Calder Park Drive
  • Removal of the level crossing of the Sunbury train line on Calder Park Drive
  • Duplicate Calder Park Drive between the Calder Freeway and the Melton Highway

While Brimbank has welcomed the funding offer of $50 million by the Federal Government in 2019 towards upgrading the Calder Freeway, between the Western Ring Road (M80) and Gap Road in Sunbury, Council is calling on the State Government to at a minimum match this funding to address immediate needs along the corridor.

Council recognises that significantly greater financial investment is required if the freeway is to meet the demands of the rapidly growing populations of Melbourne’s north and west, as well as support the nation’s future economic activity.

The Calder Freeway Corridor has long been overlooked and neglected by successive governments at the Federal and State levels for major infrastructure investment and upgrades, and Council is now calling for immediate action to:

  • Make it Safe
  • Get it Moving
  • Do it Now

Fixing the Calder now can also help create immediate and significant shovel-ready construction jobs, and help play a regional role in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.