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Aviation Road community update - March 2018

06 Mar 2018

We’re removing the level crossing at Aviation Road

The Victorian Government is removing 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne including the Aviation Road level crossing on the Werribee Line.

A road will be built over the level crossing at Aviation Road, removing it forever and making way for new walking and cycling paths, pedestrian crossings and a well-lit pedestrian underpass connecting nearby Aircraft Station.

This means no more queues at the boom gates for the 7000 drivers who travel through the crossing each day.

It will also help ease congestion for the 20,000 drivers who use the roundabout on Aviation Road connecting through to the freeway.

Pedestrian safety will be significantly improved and it will be much easier for people to get around when a new pedestrian underpass is built connecting Maher Road and Aircraft Station to the station car park on Triholm Avenue.

Now that we have announced the solution to remove the crossing, we’ll seek your input on a number of key aspects of the project.

Road over rail design

The design will start at the existing roundabout at the intersection of Aviation Road, Railway Avenue and Triholm Avenue.

The new road will rise and cross the Werribee rail line before joining Maher Road on a new alignment that will be about 500 metres long.

The bridge needs to allow a minimum clearance of 7.1 metres so freight trains can fit underneath. The bridge will be about nine metres at its highest point with an additional three metres of anti-throw screening over the rail lines.

Maher Road will be rebuilt, with a new elevated section from the Royal Australia Air Force base to join the Aviation Road bridge before coming back to ground level at the industrial building located at 180 Maher Road.

Station access

Safety and ease of movement will be improved with a new pedestrian and cyclist underpass connecting to Aircraft Station. This will be accessed via stairs and ramps. The walkway and bike path through the underpass will be about eight metres wide. Ramps into the underpass will be three metres wide.

The best solution

Technical investigations have been carried out at the Aviation Road project area over the last year, which have underpinned the road over rail design as the best solution for the area.

Many considerations need to be balanced as potential designs are considered, including ground conditions, impacts to surrounding land use, traffic volumes and disruption to road and rail. Some of the factors involved were:

  • Environmental conditions – the identification of contaminated land, which adds complexity and risk with treatment and disposal of contaminated rock, soil and groundwater. With the road over rail solution we can safely manage these risks.
  • Geotechnical conditions – a hard rock layer is found 2.5 metres below the surface which is difficult to remove.
  • High water table – taking the road or the rail underground in a cutting requires ongoing management of the ground water.
  • Critical gas pipelines are underground that limit where and how deep we can dig.
  • Access to local area – this design ensures continued access to the Royal Australian Air Force base and through the Laverton Activity Centre.
  • Disruption to freight and metro rail services. The majority of work for a road bridge can be constructed with minimal disruption to train services.
  • No land acquisition is needed.

Design features

Removing level crossings improves safety, reduces congestion and helps us create a more reliable train network.

Large infrastructure projects such as the removal of the Aviation Road level crossing give us the opportunity to make it easier for people to get around.

Aerial view of Aviation Road design features

  1. We heard that better access to the station is important, so we are building a new eight-metre-wide pedestrian underpass with well-lit entry points via ramps and stairs.
  2. There was a strong desire to create and improve cycling and pedestrian paths. We are proposing to include a separate shared use path on the bridge, a new shared use path along the boundary of the Royal Australia Air Force base and Maher Road and will build a new footpath along the northern side of Railway Avenue, and facilities such as bike hoops at Aviation Station.
  3. We have heard that getting on with the job is important to the community. Early construction work will be underway this year with the crossing removed in 2020.
  4. Carparking has been identified as a major issue at Aircraft Station. There is a strong desire to increase and formalise the number of car parks. While this is currently outside the project plans, we recognise how important it is for the community and will investigate options to improve parking in the area. We’re also committed to ensuring there is no loss of formal parking spaces.
  5. The visual impact of the design was raised by community members. We are looking at ways to minimise visual impact of the road bridge, such as creating feature screens, treatments to retaining walls and planting in the rail corridor. We would like to hear your views on how we can best fit in with existing landscape.
  6. We heard concerns about potential flooding risks. The bridge design does not excavate into the high water table. The design of the pedestrian underpass into the station will take into consideration mitigation measures for any potential surface water and ground water impacts.

What we've heard

Thank you to everyone who came along to our community drop-in sessions held in November 2017 or who contributed to our online feedback.

We talked to more than 180 people and we heard that the most important elements to consider as part of the project are:

  • Better traffic flow
  • Improved safety
  • The look and feel of the design
  • Well-connected spaces
  • Accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists

We’ve taken your feedback onboard to make sure the design improves safety and helps the community get around more easily.

What’s next?

We want your feedback to help refine aspects of the project. There are many parts of the project that need further community input including:

  • look and feel of the bridge design
  • walking and cycling paths
  • look and feel of the entrances into the station underpass.

Get involved

Community drop-in sessions

We will be holding two community drop-in sessions at the Laverton Community Hub, where we’ll have information about the project on display and you will have the opportunity to speak to the project team.

Where:
Laverton Community Hub, 95-105 Railway Avenue, Laverton 3028
When:
Saturday 17 March 2018, 10:00am to 12 noon
Saturday 24 March 2018, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Online engagement hub

Head to our online engagement hub at Your Level Crossing.

Complete the feedback form, view the information and images, and join the conversation on the forum pages.

Project timeline

DateStage
2017
  • Identification of options for removing the level crossing
  • Community consultation on options for removing the level crossing
2018
  • Assessment of options for removing the level crossing
  • Design for removing the level crossing announced
  • Community engagement and additional opportunities to be involved
Late 2018
  • Proposed start date for early works
2020
  • Proposed removal of Aviation Road level crossing

Project benefits

Puts safety first

Removing the level crossing creates a safer environment by separating pedestrians from traffic and the railway line. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be stuck at the boom gates.

Getting on with the job

Early work can begin later this year and be fully complete in 2020.

Improves traffic flow and travel times

The boom gates currently cause frustration and congestion for the 7000 drivers who travel through the crossing each day. When removed, the traffic will be able to flow more freely, allowing you to get where you’re going sooner.

No private property acquisition

No compulsory property buy-outs of homes or businesses will be necessary.

Minimise disruption

The road bridge is the least disruptive way of removing the level crossing, meaning less closures of the Werribee rail line and minimising road disruptions.

Creates better connections

New and improved walking and cycling paths will be created to access the station and shops. We’re making sure the community remains connected.

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