Major Projects & Infrastructure, Passenger Rail

Level crossing removal a boost for Melbourne

level crossing safety

The government of Victoria says new data shows reductions in travel times thanks to level crossing removals.

The government of Victoria says commuters in Melbourne’s west are the big winners as part of its ‘Big Build’, with new data showing reductions in travel time thanks to the removal of another key level crossing.

A 65-tonne piling rig and a 40-tonne excavator have begun digging nine-metre-deep foundations for a new road bridge in Ardeer, which will replace the Fitzgerald Road level crossing.

The level crossing removal is to help improve reliability on the Geelong and Ballarat lines.

It will also reduce travel times, with boom gates currently down for up to 45 per cent of the morning peak in Ardeer, with 37 trains running through the crossing – delaying tens of thousands of cars and trucks every day.

The Fitzgerald Road level crossing removal has been fast-tracked and will be removed by 2023, along with the nearby level crossing at Robinson Road, Deer Park. Their removal will pave way for the Mt Derrimut Road level crossing to be removed by 2024, making the Geelong and Ballarat lines level crossing-free between Deer Park and the city.

The level crossing removals in the west builds on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade, the largest-ever single investment in Melbourne’s road network.

New data shows drivers on Palmers Road are saving 20 minutes during the morning peak, while upgrades to Leakes Road have shaved almost 12 minutes off the travel time for drivers, providing commuters with better access to Tarneit Station.

Congestion-busting upgrades have been completed on eight priority roads across Werribee, Point Cook, Truganina, Tarneit, Laverton North and Hoppers Crossing, as well as repair and resurfacing work on 37 roads between Footscray and Werribee.

The multi-year upgrade has given thousands of Victorians work during the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so over the life of a 20-year maintenance program.  So far this year, an average of one road every week has been resurfaced in the west as part of the maintenance program, delivering smoother and safer journeys for all.

Transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said the level crossing removal work was encouraging.

“It’s great to see work starting on another level crossing removal in the west – when we’re just starting to see the real time benefits of our most recent pipeline of works,” Allan said.

“Whether it’s level crossing removals, Geelong Fast Rail, Airport Rail, suburban road upgrades or the Metro Tunnel – we’re delivering the upgrades that gives locals better connections to schools, jobs and health services.”