The Hon Terry Mulder MP
Minister for Roads
Minister for Public TransportThe Hon Michael O’Brien
Three notorious level crossings will be removed as part of a $457 million level crossing blitz, Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder announced today.
The Coalition Government will fully fund level crossing removals at Burke Road in Glen Iris, Blackburn Road in Blackburn and North Road in Ormond in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget.
Inspecting the Burke Road level crossing today, Mr O’Brien said the announcement demonstrates how the Coalition Government’s strong economic management is delivering major transport upgrades for Victorians.
“These are three of the worst level crossings in Victoria. The removal of boom gates at these stations will provide daily relief for more than 80,000 motorists in Ormond, Glen Iris and Blackburn as well as pedestrians and those travelling by tram or bus,” Mr O’Brien said.
“These vital projects will also create around 1000 new construction jobs.”
Mr Mulder said that this shows the Coalition Government is committed to reducing traffic congestion and improving safety for commuters.
“Already under the Metro Level Crossing Blitz, three level crossings at Springvale and Mitcham have been removed, and last week funding was announced for the removal of the notorious level crossing at Main Road, St Albans,” Mr Mulder said.
In addition, four level crossings are being removed as part of the Cranbourne-Pakenham Rail Corridor project, with planning for the removal of a further five.
“Today’s announcement means the Coalition Government is providing more than $1 billion in the 2014-15 Budget to remove eight level crossings across Melbourne,” Mr O’Brien said.
Burke Road, Glen Iris
Mr O’Brien said Burke Road – which will be a rail under road solution – will not only remove the interaction between cars and trains, but trams as well.
“Approximately 26,500 vehicles, 158 trains and 186 trams use this section of Burke Road every weekday. During peak times, boom gates can be down for up to 47 minutes during the two hour peak, affecting traffic flow and queuing onto the Monash Freeway,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr Mulder said a new local train station will be built as part of the project with nearby tram stops consolidated and upgraded to provide a safer and more efficient transport solution.
” Residents, businesses and commuters provided valuable input into the project during the design phase, with an overwhelming majority supporting the rail under road option,” Mr Mulder said.
North Road, Ormond
“More than 41,200 vehicles travel along North Road each day, including 180 bus services,” Mr Mulder said.
“The level crossing holds up drivers, commuters, pedestrians and cyclists for significant periods of time with the boom gates down for approximately 39 per cent of the peak period with traffic queues of up to 800 metres in peak periods.
“The busy Frankston rail line has more than 223 passenger train services passing through Ormond each day. Ormond Station will also be redeveloped with a new station entry on North Road,” he said
Mr O’Brien said in addition to the level crossing works, a new pedestrian crossing will be installed, with works starting mid-2014.
“At North Road, existing pedestrian signals are located within a couple of hundred metres from the level crossing on either side,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This is a major safety concern as up to 40 per cent of the pedestrians crossing North Road are school children.”
Blackburn Road, Blackburn
The Blackburn Road project will also be a rail under road solution, and include improvements to the existing station.
“Approximately 15,000 vehicles travel through this part of Blackburn Road every day, which passes through central Blackburn,” Mr Mulder said.
“During peak times, boom gates can be down for up to 45 minutes during the two hour peak period, affecting traffic flow and queuing onto Blackburn Road and surrounding local roads, including a roundabout just metres from the level crossing.”
Mr Mulder said the Blackburn Road level crossing remained a source of frustration for road users in the area.
“This train line also provides a major barrier in the middle of Blackburn Village. The improved connectivity that will result from removing this level crossing will lead to a more vibrant and prosperous Blackburn Village,” Mr O’Brien said.
The three projects are being delivered and managed by VicRoads with Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne through funding to be delivered in the 2014-15 State Budget.
Procurement will commence in 2014-15 and construction for the removal of the three level crossings will be complete by mid-2017.