Hoppers Crossing and Werribee community update – June 2019
27 Jun 2019
Three level crossings to go in the west
Werribee CBD and Hoppers Crossing will soon be level-crossing free in an infrastructure overhaul that will improve safety, bust congestion and make the suburbs easier to get around.
Crossings are to go at three locations along the Werribee line: at Werribee Street and Cherry Street in Werribee, and at Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing. We have fast tracked Old Geelong Road so we can start construction on all three projects in 2020.
There are two feasible designs for the level crossing removal at each location. Based on technical considerations and achieving positive long-term outcomes, we’ve identified a preferred design for each site.
We’re now inviting the community to view the designs for all three crossings, with online feedback open and drop-in sessions to be held over the coming month in both Werribee and Hoppers Crossing.
We want your help to refine aspects such as look and feel, cycling and pedestrian paths and landscaping. Read more inside about the project designs. We would love to hear from you.
What we’ve heard
Thank you to everyone who came along to our previous community drop-in sessions or who has provided feedback online. We heard from more than 200 people that better connections for pedestrians and cyclists, improved traffic flow and upgraded civic spaces are important for us to consider.
We’ve taken the feedback on board to make sure the design for each location reduces congestion and makes it easier to get around.
Why these level crossings need to go
- 58,000 cars each day
- More than 50 accidents or near misses since 2005
- Boom gate delays caused by 140 daily train services and 100 weekly freight services
- Improve traffic flow around Melbourne's booming west
The level crossing at Cherry Street sits in the middle of an important network of busy commuter routes, local roads and the vibrant Watton Street shopping precinct.
It is an important connection for the 20,000 vehicles that pass through each day. As well as many homes and businesses, there are critical services near the crossing, such as the oil pipeline. This makes building a structure at the existing crossing challenging.
Planning and technical work has identified two feasible designs for removing this level crossing.
Rail designs were ruled out early because of the significant disruption it would cause to Metro train and national freight services.
Wyndham City Council is looking to the future to provide for the growing local population, with expansion of the Werribee CBD planned for the east, south and north. The preferred design to remove this level crossing by building a road over the rail line at Tarneit Road aims to align with these future developments.
Design A: a new road bridge over the rail line at Tarneit Road (Preferred)
Due to constraints at the existing crossing at Cherry Street, we investigated an alternative location for traffic to cross the rail line. This involves building a new road bridge linking Tarneit Road to the Princes Highway, about 300 metres east of the current crossing.
This allows us to use the irrigation channel reserve next to the Wyndham City Council offices as a direct connection from the Princes Highway to Railway Avenue and Tarneit Road.
Instead of driving through Cherry Street, cars would travel along Railway Avenue or Tarneit Road to the new road bridge which provides direct access to the Princes Highway – meaning no more long waits at the boom-gates.
We would close the existing crossing to road traffic and build a wide and well-lit underpass for pedestrians and cyclists to cross under the train line.
- This design improves traffic flow by keeping through traffic to major roads with the additional benefit of creating a safer city centre for the community to enjoy. People travelling to and from the Princes Freeway would have a faster journey using this new direct link.
- We can build this design with no compulsory property acquisition and with only minor disruption to the road and rail network.
- Getting to the Watton Street shopping precinct would be a little different. Road users would need to travel over the new bridge and use Princes Highway to access Cherry Street. It is expected that this journey would take about two minutes longer for people who start their journey around Tarneit Road.
Design A is the preferred option as it delivers the best long-term outcome for the growing Wyndham area, allowing locals to get where they need to go and providing a streamlined route for traffic coming into and out of Werribee.
Construction would start in 2020 and be complete by 2022.
Design B: a road underpass at Cherry Street
The other design is to build a road underpass at the current location of the level crossing. Road users would travel from Market Road to Cherry Street, by lowering Cherry Street in a 4.6m-metre-deep trench, while keeping the rail tracks at their existing level.
Access to local shops and residential streets would change, but would be maintained through additional one-way service roads.
- This design would allow vehicles to travel through the area using their current routes, with no change to journeys to the local shopping area.
- This ‘sunken’ design would have limited visual impact to the civic centre, with access to local homes and business maintained through service roads.
- This design requires us to move the critical oil pipeline, delaying the start of construction by up to two years.
- To avoid impacts to local homes and businesses, we would have to reduce the height of this trench. This means trucks and taller vehicles would need to cross at other points along the Werribee Line.
- The intersection of Railway Avenue and Glen Street would be closed, with one-way service roads needed to provide access to homes and businesses.
- Construction would be complex, and the community could expect lengthy road and rail closures.
This level crossing is an important gateway between Werribee and Wyndham Vale and is used by 20,000 vehicles each day. It is surrounded by homes, businesses and parklands.
Wyndham City Council is completing major upgrade works to Wyndham Park which sits next to the train line. Planning and technical work has identified two feasible designs for removing this level crossing with a rail over road the preferred design.
Rail and road designs that pass under Werribee Street were ruled out because of the impact to the critical pipeline.
Design A: a rail bridge over Werribee Street (Preferred)
We would elevate the three train tracks in a structure that would begin rising after the Werribee River. The rail bridge structure would be around one kilometre long and have a height of about six metres when it crosses Werribee Street. This structure would allow for both freight and regional trains.
- This design takes advantage of Wyndham City Council’s multimillion dollar improvements at Wyndham Park, and will open up the space below the rail line for the community to enjoy. * The new bridge can be built within the existing rail reserve and is unlikely to cause significant disruption to local road users.
- Unlike Cherry Street and Old Geelong Road, there is space next to the rail line for "offline" construction, minimising disruptions to national freight services.
- We’ll need to build a structure with long ramps to allow for the heavy freight trains to travel over Werribee Street. This can be built without any impact to the Werribee River.
Design A is the preferred design as it enhances the significant upgrades that are already underway at Wyndham Park and unlocks more space for the community to enjoy. This design can also be built with less disruption to road users.
Construction would start in 2020 and be complete by 2022.
Design B: a new road bridge at Bulban Road
To help ease traffic congestion around this important link between Werribee and Wyndham Vale, we could build a new road bridge to connect Bulban Road and the Princes Highway
- This design would make it easier to travel between the Princes Highway, Bulban Road, Ballan Road and Cottrell Street, removing the need to travel through multiple sets of traffic lights.
- With the existing crossing closed to traffic, a new pedestrian and cyclist overpass would be built. This would include new landscaping and some community areas.
- As the current crossing would be closed to traffic, vehicles would be re-routed onto the new bridge and an increase in journey time could be expected for some users travelling between Cottrell Street and Werribee Street.
- Construction would be delayed by up to two years while we relocated the critical oil pipeline.
- The Princes Highway would be significantly impacted during construction, meaning major diversions and delays getting into and out of Werribee.
Old Geelong Road
Located near important facilities such as hospitals, shopping centres and schools, the Old Geelong Road level crossing carries about 18,000 vehicles each day and links to the nearby Princes Highway and Princes Freeway.
In November 2018, the Victorian Government announced a road over rail design was the most likely solution for removing this crossing. Planning and technical work has identified two feasible designs for a road bridge.
Design A: a new road bridge connecting Old Geelong Road to the Princes Highway (Preferred)
Under this design, this level crossing would be removed by constructing a new road bridge over the rail line east of the existing crossing, directly connecting the Princes Freeway to Old Geelong Road and Heaths Road.
The existing crossing would be closed to road traffic, making way for improved community spaces with updated landscaping. Locals would access Hoppers Crossing station via a new elevated pedestrian and cyclist overpass.
- Around 18,000 vehicles travel through this busy area each day. This design would see commuter traffic kept to major roads, creating a safer shopping and station precinct for the Hoppers Crossing community.
- By moving the road, we would be creating a direct link to the Princes Freeway, meaning commuter traffic will no longer create unnecessary congestion in the station precinct.
- This design also simplifies the complex intersections at Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Lane and the Princes Highway.
- To build the new road bridge and provide a direct connection between the Princes Freeway and Old Geelong Road, LXRP would need to acquire private commercial land in one location.
Design A is the preferred option as it creates better traffic flow in the area and a better long-term outcome for the centre of Hoppers Crossing.
Construction would start in 2020 and be complete by 2022.
Design B: a new road bridge at the current crossing
The other feasible design is to build a new road bridge at the current level crossing location. The bridge would begin to rise from the Morris Road roundabout and travel over the Werribee line and join the Princes Highway at a new signalised intersection.
- This design would provide the opportunity to reconfigure the intersection at Hoppers Lane.
- To keep the road in its current location, the tall and steep bridge would form a barrier between local shops and the train station precinct.
- This design would be complex to build, meaning disruptions to the station and shopping precinct.
- We would need to acquire some land around the new road bridge with access to some properties affected.
For more information about other design options we looked at for all three sites, further technical details are available at: your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
Help shape the design
Local perspectives are an important part of getting the best outcome for the community now and into the future.
We want to hear:
- How each of the design options would change the way you travel
- The kind of look and feel you’d like included in the projects
- What kind of landscaping and vegetation you’d like included
- How you think the level crossing removals can provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists.
Community drop-in sessions
The preferred designs for Cherry Street and Old Geelong Road would change the way you travel around the area. We'll be holding two community drop-in sessions where you can chat to the project team and find out more about all three level crossing removals.
- Where: Encore Events Centre, 80 Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing.
- When: Saturday 13 July between 10am and 12.30pm, Tuesday 16 July between 5pm and 7.30pm.
Can’t make it to a session?
Head to our online engagement hub at: your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
Complete the feedback forms, view the project information and design images, and have your say on the forum pages.
You can also sign up for project updates.
Fast-tracking Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing
We heard loud and clear that the Old Geelong Road level crossing in Hoppers Crossing was a major source of frustration for the local community. We’ve fast-tracked its removal so that it can be removed at the same time as the Cherry Street and Werribee Street level crossings, minimising disruption for Werribee Line passengers.
At the time of project announcement in late 2018, early investigations suggested that a road over rail solution was likely. We’re now looking forward to working with the local community to refine the design for the road bridge.
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