Construction to remove two dangerous and congested level crossings on the Pakenham line will begin within a year at Clyde Road, Berwick and Cardinia Road, Pakenham.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan was at Clyde Road in Berwick today to announce timings for the two projects and encourage locals to attend an upcoming information session.
Boom gates at both crossings are down for around a third of the two-hour morning peak, disrupting the flow of the combined 45,000 vehicles that pass through each day.
Works at Clyde Road will start in 2020, meaning it will be for good in 2022. The level crossing is the source of frustrating delays for ambulances travelling to Casey Hospital along with thousands of people making their way to local schools and tertiary institutions each weekday.
The crossing – located on a key arterial road – also causes congestion on the Princes and Monash freeways. Meanwhile, level crossing removal works at Cardinia Road in booming Pakenham have been fast-tracked, with construction set to begin in late 2019 and wrap up by the end of 2021. Delivering on a Labor Government commitment from late 2018, a road bridge will be built over the rail line.
This choice of design has been backed up by detailed geotechnical and land surveys, which show that raising the road will limit impacts to major underground gas, electricity, communications and sewerage services. Because construction can take place within the road reserve, a road-over-rail design will also minimise disruption for rail and road users. The protection of nearby wetlands was also a key consideration.
Nine level crossings have already been removed on the Pakenham line – with the removal of three more already in the planning or design stage. Now, four more have been prioritised for removal, which would leave only five remaining between Pakenham and the CBD.
Locals are urged to provide feedback and stay informed by coming along to a drop-in information session or signing up for email updates at www.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
As noted by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“One by one, we’re getting rid of every single level crossing on the Pakenham line – freeing up space to run more trains and helping people get home safer and sooner.”
As noted by Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale
“Like every other motorist in this area I dread the sound of those boom gates. They’ve got no place in these growing communities and they’ve got to go.”
As noted by Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas
“These crossings clog up local roads and cause traffic chaos around schools, universities, hospitals – it’s time for them to go.”