Dramatic Calder Freeway crash shows need for urgent upgrade
A near-disastrous crash which saw a large truck dangle precariously over the edge of the Calder Freeway above Green Gully Road last week has highlighted the need for urgent safety improvements to the Calder Freeway.
Brimbank City Council is seeking a briefing from Victoria Police and VicRoads on the circumstances of the crash on Tuesday 20 November, when a truck slammed into the side barrier of the Green Gully Road overpass at Keilor – scattering debris onto the road below.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Lucinda Congreve said Council had long been advocating for safety improvements to the Calder Freeway – including on this stretch of road, where there are no emergency stopping lanes.
“Last week’s horrendous accident could so easily have been tragic – we were very fortunate that no lives were lost.
“But we cannot rely on luck to keep us safe.
“Brimbank Council has repeatedly called on State and Federal Governments to invest in the Calder Freeway in order to improve safety, reduce congestion, and cater for population and freight growth.
Calder Needs Investment
“The Calder Freeway is a key link in the National Land Transport Network that connects Melbourne with the regional centre of Bendigo, and beyond to north-west regional Victoria – we need State and Federal governments to invest in lifting this crucial infrastructure up to freeway standard.
“Between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the Melton Highway, there are sections of the Calder Freeway where the speed limit drops to 80km/h and where there are no emergency stopping lanes – including the Green Gully Road overpass where last week’s crash took place.
Poor Accident Record
“This stretch of the Calder Freeway has an extremely poor accident record, with 35 crashes occurring between the M80 and Melton Highway in the five years to December 2016.
“Council is seeking urgent investment to upgrade the Calder Freeway between the Western Ring Road and the Melton Highway, including additional lanes from Keilor Park Drive to the Melton Highway and widening the Maribyrnong River Bridge,” Cr Congreve said.
Council has also called for the upgrade to include construction of a full diamond interchange at the intersection of the Calder Freeway and Calder Park Drive.
As a member of the Calder Highway Improvement Committee, Council has previously written to Federal Government Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety to request funding for these critically needed works.