The Calder Freeway is one of three major north-west freeways included in a Department of Transport (DOT) project aimed addressing Melbourne’s future transport needs.
The DOT wrote to councils, including Brimbank, on March 15, as part of an investigation into infrastructure needs along three of Melbourne’s most vital corridors – the Calder Freeway, Western Highway and Hume Highway.
The federal government has committed up to $50 million for upgrades on each of these roads.
One of the focuses is a 23-kilometre section of the Calder Freeway between Gap Road, Sunbury and the M80 Ring Road.
A state government spokesperson said the department was working with key stakeholders, including councils, to help inform its planning for the future infrastructure needs along the Calder Freeway.
Brimbank mayor Ranka Rasic confirmed the department had contacted the council about the freeway.
The letter to the council came the day before it announced it’s Fix the Calder campaign.
“Council received a letter from the Department of Transport on 15 March, 2021 informing that a new project had been established to assess investment priorities along the Western, Calder and Hume freeway corridors and advising further contact would be made relating to their consultation process and project timeframes,” Cr Rasic said.
“Council responded to this letter on 22 March welcoming the investigation and nominating a primary contact for the project.”
The council wants the Calder Freeway to be upgraded to include a full diamond interchange at the intersection with Calder Park Drive, the grade separation of the Sunbury train line at Calder Park Drive and the duplication of Calder Park Drive between Calder Freeway and Melton Highway.
They also want funding allocated for the Calder Freeway between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the Melton Highway to bring it up to freeway standard.
Cr Rasic said the council was continuing to engage with key stakeholders in relation to the campaign.
The council has started a petition calling for the Calder to be fixed, which will be lodged with state parliament later this year.
“Council is proud to campaign to fix the Calder,” she said.
“We’re calling on the state and federal governments to fix the Calder, make it safe, get it moving and do it now.
“This is urgently needed, and the council is calling on the governments to invest in several major upgrades.
“We’ll be continuing to work closely with the local Calder Action Group, who have been calling for a fix for the freeway for some time now.
“We’d also appreciate people sharing their stories and experiences of driving on the Calder.”
Cr Rasic said residents were welcome to attend the official launch event for the Calder campaign at the Keilor Golf Club on Saturday at 10am.
For more information or to share stories of driving on the Calder, visit: fixthecalder.brimbank.vic.gov.au