AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Last-minute hitch on Mackenzie Road extension

<p>Last-minute works are being carried out on the long-awaited extension to Mackenzie Road to link it directly into Footscray Road and Sims Street, a move that will radically improve access into the western side of the port of Melbourne and Coode Island.</p> <p>Victorian transport minister Peter Batchelor said on Friday (January 28) the road would be opened for the weekend, but <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> understands that the opening may be delayed until this Friday (February 4) to allow for minor works to be completed.</p> <p>Port access would be significantly improved, with the creation of the new road that feeds directly into the port without the impediment of railway crossings, Mr Batchelor said.</p> <p>"This important link will generate significant improvements in supply chain efficiencies and reduce the costs of moving freight in and out of the port, particularly rail freight," he said.</p> <p>Mr Batchelor said over the past decade the number of containers transported by rail hads grown by more than 200%.</p> <p>The project will help P&#38O’s rail operations, and assist the State Government to reach its target of transferring 30% of port-related freight to rail by 2010, he said. </p> <p>The Port of Melbourne Corporation provided $5.5m to undertake the road works, with P&#38O undertaking complimentary works to improve access to its terminals.</p> <p><em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> tried to contact the corporation and P&#38O Ports this morning (Monday, January 31) but neither was available before press time.</p> <p>Neil Chambers, industry services director for the Victorian Transport Association, said the association will seek talks with P&#38O Ports and the PoMC regarding the closure of Coode Road west of Dock Link Road.</p> <p>"We have no updated information from P&#38O Ports on this issue further to the previous briefings about future terminal layout plans which we discussed with P&#38O last year," Mr Chambers said. </p> <p>"However, we will ensure that this is a standing agenda item for the VTA general freight committee as we move forward in the early part of this year."</p> <br />