Major works are now underway at the Burke Road level crossing, the first of 50 dangerous and congested crossings that will be removed by the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan visited the Burke Road level crossing today to announce that major construction has officially started on the Level Crossing Removal Project.
The Burke Road level crossing is one of Victoria’s worst, with boom gates down for more than 40 minutes during the two-hour morning peak. More than 26,000 vehicles and 150 trains use the crossing every day and it is one of only four main arterial roads in Melbourne where trams cross the railway lines.
Congestion is so bad at Burke Road that RACV has named it one of Melbourne’s top 10 congestion hot spots every year since 2006, making it the equal-longest site represented on the list.
The frustration and delay caused by the crossing is leading to unsafe behaviour from motorists and pedestrians, who are ignoring barriers and warning signals rushing to catch trains and trams.
The first work to be undertaken is the demolition of the Gardiner Station car park. Over the next 12 months, the rail line will be lowered under Burke Road and Gardiner Station will be rebuilt with access down to platforms below street level.
The new station will be safer, more accessible and more user-friendly than the old station, and a new tram
super-stop will be built near the entrance, making it easier to transfer between trains and trams.
While these critical works are being undertaken, alternative car parks for commuters are being provided at Caulfield Racecourse. When complete, the new station will have just as many car parks as the old.
Major works on the weekend of 24-26 July, including the demolition of station platforms and buildings, will require the closure of the Glen Waverley rail line, with buses replacing trains between Burnley and Darling.
Buses will also replace the Route 72 tram on Sunday 26 July and the intersection of Burke Road and Carroll Crescent will be closed from later this month until early next year.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This is the start of one of the most important road, rail and community safety projects in Victoria’s history – the removal of our most dangerous, deadly and congested level crossings.”
“Victorians have been held hostage by these relics of the past for too long. They need to go, we’re getting on with it, and major works start today.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“More than 26,000 cars and 150 trains use this this congestion hot-spot every day. Getting rid of it will get motorists, passengers and local residents home safer and sooner.”
“Works are ramping up at Burke Road and at other sites across Melbourne as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s plan to unclog our roads, make communities safer and build a bigger, better public transport system.”