The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with removing the dangerous and congested level crossing on Toorak Road in Kooyong which is a major bottleneck for tens of thousands of Victorians every day.
This intersection is one of Melbourne’s busiest and most congested, with the boom gates down 35 per cent of the morning peak, which will grow as more trains run.
Early planning works began in December, including geotechnical and engineering assessments to determine the best way to remove the level crossing.
A rail bridge will be built to remove the crossing, which is a major bottleneck for the thousands of people travelling on the Monash Freeway and CityLink via local roads. The design will improve pedestrian and cycling connections, create new open space, minimise disruption and limit the loss of trees.
It also avoids the need to relocate complex services, including one of Melbourne’s largest telecommunication cables that connects local homes and businesses in the eastern suburbs.
Other designs would interrupt the flow of flood water into nearby Gardiners Creek, take more than a year longer to build and require Toorak Road to be closed for several months. This would impede access to and from the Monash freeway and disrupt the flow of 37,000 vehicles that travel through the level crossing each day.
This design also avoids the need for buses to replace trains on the busy Glen Waverley line, which is used by 160,000 people each week for a long duration. Building a road underpass beneath the Glen Waverley line, or bridge above it, is not possible due to the area’s topography and proximity to the Monash freeway.
The community is encouraged to provide feedback about how they would like the new open space to be designed and used — and about improvements to pedestrian and cycling connections.
The project will create hundreds of jobs during construction and is due for completion by 2021.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This entire area comes to a standstill every morning and afternoon peak when the boom gates are down – that’s why we’re getting rid of them.”
“We’re removing this dangerous level crossing for good, making local streets safer, and less congested, and delivering more open space for this local community.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Traffic backs up for hundreds of metres, causing long delays even for motorists who aren’t crossing it. Removing it will slash travel times for tens of thousands of Victorians every day.”
Quote attributable to Member for Hawthorn John Kennedy
“Locals get stuck at these boom gates every day – I’m proud to be part of a Government removing them, delivering better traffic flow for our local community.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020