Abbotts Road is a major road that services Dandenong’s industrial precincts and carries thousands of people to and from work every day. It is also a major access point to the South Gippsland Highway and often suffers long delays with the boom gates halting the many trucks and motorists who use this route. This level crossing has also been the site of tragedy, with two people killed at the crossing in the past seven years.
A contract to remove six level crossings, including Abbotts Road, has been awarded. Work at Abbotts Road will start in 2017 and be completed by 2019.
Activate, a consortium including McConnell Dowell, Arup, and Mott MacDonald, will initially deliver the Kororoit Creek level crossing removal project and duplication of the Altona Loop. They will then have the opportunity to deliver the Abbotts Road level crossing removal project and four more in Melbourne's West.
The Cranbourne rail line will be raised over Abbotts Road when the level crossing is removed keeping the road connected to the busy Dandenong South industrial precinct.
The rail bridge design will allow Abbotts Road to stay open permanently, while also minimising disruption for local businesses both during construction and once the level crossing is removed.
In developing and selecting the rail bridge design, we undertook extensive community consultation and a comprehensive assessment of a range of options. The rail bridge option was clearly favoured by key businesses and local industry clustered around the level crossing.
Check out this video to see 3D animation of the rail bridge design and hear what local businesses have to say about the project so far.
The project team will continue to work closely with local businesses and the Dandenong South community throughout delivery of the project.
Before and after aerial images of the proposed design
Ground images of the proposed design
The Level Crossing Removal Authority is requesting that the Minister for Planning prepare a Planning Scheme Amendment to facilitate the delivery of the Abbotts Road level crossing removal project.
We sought public submissions from anyone who wished to make comments or provide feedback on the project.
What planning approvals are required?
Most of the project works will happen within the existing rail and road corridors, and normally wouldn't require a planning permit.
However, the project area extends beyond the rail corridor and therefore may trigger some requirements for permits. To avoid the need for multiple permits, LXRA is seeking an amendment to Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.
An Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan will also be prepared for the project.
We are calling for anyone interested in this level crossing removal to register their interest to receive project updates and notifications of upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.
Why does this level crossing need to be removed?
Every week day, 23,000 vehicles and 120 trains cross over the level crossing on Abbots Road in Dandenong South.
The boom gates are down for around 11 minutes during the morning peak period between 7:00am and 9:30am. Whilst the duration of closure is comparatively short, the volume of traffic on Abbotts Road results in congestion and traffic queues during peak times.
Safety is a key concern; the duration of boom gate closures can result in risky behaviour from road users trying to 'beat' the red-lights and boom gates to avoid waiting. This problem will be exacerbated as traffic volumes and train frequencies increase into the future.
Two people have been killed at the level crossing in the past seven years.
What are the benefits of removing this crossing?
- Improve safety by removing the interaction of trains and road vehicles.
- Create hundreds of jobs during construction
- Help reduce traffic congestion and allow for future growth
- No more waiting at boom gates for the 23,000 vehicles that use the Abbotts Road level crossing each week day.
Will you build a station in Dandenong South as part of the project?
There are no current plans for a new station to be built in the Dandenong South in area, however further planning will be undertaken as part of the Metropolitan Planning Authority's planning for the Dandenong South National Economic Cluster.
Will there be any improvements to local transport in the area as part of this project?
A new bus service along Abbotts Rd across the level crossing, was introduced in 2016. Approximately 48 buses now travel along Abbotts Road every weekday.
Is the closure of Abbotts Road still a possibility?
No – Abbotts Road will remain open. Local businesses, commuters and land owners told us they strongly opposed the closure of Abbotts Road and as a result, we have ruled out that option.
We recognise the importance of Abbotts Road to the Dandenong South industrial precinct and appreciates it is a key connection, linking large and small businesses to the surrounding freeways.
Why can't you build the Remington Drive and Pound Road West connection and keep Abbotts Road open?
We have been given the responsibility to oversee the removal of the Abbotts Road level crossing. This responsibility directs LXRA to focus on the best solution to remove a crossing, rather than addressing broader transport solutions. For this reason LXRA is unable to deliver two new crossings.