A total of 25 unsafe and congested level crossings have now been removed in Melbourne, with the south-eastern suburbs particularly enjoying a faster and safer trip over Thompsons Road overpass.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan at Thompsons Road to open the first of two, three-lane bridges being built as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $207 million upgrade.
For decades, the boom gates at Thompsons Road have caused delays for the 26,000 vehicles that travel on it each day.
Now, drivers will be diverted onto the new northern road bridge on Thompsons Road, permanently separating road and rail and allowing for the removal of the old level crossing equipment below.
Nearly 145,000 hours of work, 1,700 cubic metres of concrete and tens of thousands of tonnes of quarry materials have helped build the 3,200 tonne bridge over the rail line and the 60,000- onne supporting wall.
Once the new northern bridge opens, work will begin on the southern bridge and new traffic lanes on the south side of Thompsons Road.
The Labor Government will duplicate sections of Thompsons Road to get more people where they need to go and upgrade 11 intersections, including new traffic lights to boost safety at the notorious Western Port Highway intersection.
Existing traffic light intersections will be upgraded at Wheelers Park Drive, William Thwaites Boulevard, Marriott Boulevard and Lyndhurst Boulevard.
As part of the Suburban Roads Upgrade, the roundabouts at the intersections of Thompsons and Dandenong-Frankston Road and Thompsons and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road will also be replaced with traffic lights.
The announcement comes after a huge period of level crossing removals, with the final four Caulfield to Dandenong level crossings removed in early June and the Skye/Overton Road level crossing removed in late June.
There are now 25 dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good, surpassing the election commitment to remove 20 in the Labor Government’s first term. Fourteen new stations have opened and a further four level crossing removals are under construction.
The Thompsons Road Upgrade is expected to be completed in mid-2019.