Three more level crossings in Melbourne are to be removed as part of the State Government’s plan to address congestion and boost safety.
Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, said the designs will banish the boom gates and better connect communities at three locations along the Werribee line – at Werribee Street and Cherry Street in Werribee, and Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing. It means there will be no level crossings on Metro lines in Wyndham.
Works to remove the Old Geelong Road level crossing will also be fast-tracked so that it can be delivered alongside the two Werribee crossings, with construction to begin next year and all three crossings gone in 2022.
After geotechnical and engineering investigations, there are two feasible designs to remove the crossing at each of the three locations. Each site has a preferred design based on technical considerations and long-term benefits.
The preferred design to remove the Old Geelong Road crossing is to construct a new road bridge over the rail line east of the existing crossing, directly connecting the Princes Highway to Old Geelong Road and Heaths Road.
At Cherry Street, the preferred design would also see a new road bridge built east of the existing crossing, linking Tarneit Road to the Princes Highway via the irrigation channel next to Wyndham City Council offices.
“These preferred designs will ensure better access for commuters to the Princes Highway and Princes Freeway, create less disruption to motorists and passengers during construction and make it safer to get to important facilities such as hospitals, shopping centres and schools,” Mr Pallas said.
The preferred design to remove the Werribee Street level crossing is to elevate the Werribee line over the road. This design will add more open space underneath to complement Wyndham City Council’s multimillion-dollar improvements at Wyndham Park, and can be constructed with minimal disruption to road users.
Close to 60,000 vehicles and several bus routes use these three level crossings each day, with about 140 Metro services daily on the Werribee line and lengthy freight services.
“Improving safety is another key factor for the removal of these level crossings. Since 2005, incidents have included a fatal collision between a train and a vehicle, three serious collisions and at least 50 near misses,” Mr Pallas said.
“This is a real win for the local community – we’re fast-tracking the Hoppers Crossing project so all three level crossing removals on the Werribee line will be completed at the same time.
“Just like the 29 level crossings we’ve already removed across Melbourne, these three sites at Werribee and Hoppers Crossing cause nothing but frustration and anxiety – they have to go.”
Member for Tarneit, Sarah Connolly, said, “Anyone who has been stuck behind the boom gates at these level crossings knows what a difference removing them will make. I’m proud Wyndham will be level crossing free under the Andrews Labor Government.”