The Andrews Labor Government is improving safety with major works commencing on the removal of the dangerous and congested Gap Road level crossing, two years ahead of schedule.
To remove the crossing at one of Sunbury's worst bottlenecks, where the boom gates are down for more than a quarter of the morning peak, Gap Road will be closed from 10:00am Monday between Evans and Horne streets for four months.
The project is part of the Labor Government’s more than $2 billion infrastructure investment in Melbourne’s booming northwest, including the Sunbury Road Upgrade, Sunbury Line Upgrade and a new Sunbury Station car park with 300 new spaces to cater for the region’s growing population.
The Sunbury Line Upgrade will maximise the benefits of the Metro Tunnel when it opens in 2025, with bigger, more modern trains for Sunbury Line passengers and room for an extra 113,000 peak hour passengers each week, plus a connection to the airport via Melbourne Airport Rail in 2029.
By removing the Gap Road level crossing at the same time as upgrading the Sunbury Line, the boom gates will be gone two years earlier than originally planned. Gap Road will reopen to traffic with a new road under the rail line in early October, with the whole project completed in 2023 along with the Sunbury Line Upgrade.
After Gap Road closes and the boom gates are removed, crews will work around the clock to build a new rail bridge, with the rail line shut from the evening of 3 June to last service on 29 June. Buses and coaches will replace trains on sections of the Sunbury, Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill lines during this time.
Once train services resume, Gap Road will remain closed for another three months while crews excavate 25,000 cubic metres of soil – enough to fill 10 Olympic swimming pools – and build the new road underpass.
While Gap Road is closed, road users can cross the rail line at the Macedon Street bridge, via Barkly and Horne streets, while pedestrians and cyclists can use the nearby Sunbury Station overpass. Emergency services will have depots on both sides of the railway so they can get where they need to go quickly.
The Sunbury Road Upgrade will also ramp up in winter, with excavation underway to widen the road to four lanes between Powlett Street and Bulla-Diggers Rest Road, easing congestion for 44,000 daily motorists by 2031. To minimise disruption, one lane remains open in each direction while crews build new lanes behind barriers.
While these works to improve Sunbury are underway, there will be some noise, dust and road impacts. Anyone travelling through Sunbury should plan ahead and allow at least 15 minutes extra time.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll
“We are continuing to invest significantly in the growing community of Sunbury to ensure residents have access to better and safer public transport, while also easing congestion on some of our busiest arterial roads.”
“The Gap Road level crossing is just one of 85 level crossings we’re removing across Melbourne by 2025, with 60 already gone for good.”
Quote attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull
“The Gap Road level crossing will be gone in October, improving traffic flow and making it quicker and safer to get around Sunbury – whether you’re driving, cycling, walking or catching the train.”
Reviewed 28 May 2022