South Gippsland Highway community update - March 2019
New road bridge getting underway
We’re removing the dangerous and congested level crossing at South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong South, with a new road bridge.
As one of the busiest level crossings in Melbourne, with over 31,000 cars and tracks travelling across the level crossing each day, this project will improve safety and traffic flow, slashing travel times for tens of thousands of people who rely on this route every day.
Melbourne’s south-east is one of Australia’s busiest manufacturing regions, which means that good freight connections are critical. Removing the South Gippsland Highway level crossing will improve freight connections in the area, supporting the local economy and jobs.
Benefits of removing the level crossing
- A more reliable road network
- Improving safety for pedestrians and road users
- Improving connections and slashing travel times
- Creating hundreds of jobs and supporting our freight industry
- Allows for future transport upgrades
How will the level crossing be removed?
Raising the road over the rail line
Every level crossing has unique characteristics which help determine the most suitable way to remove the level crossing. Site investigations have identified a road bridge design for this location.
Using an elevated road design will provide significant benefits to the community, including improving pedestrian connections and access to important services.
As part of planning works, we are looking at opportunities to enhance urban design, create new pedestrian and cycling connections and reduce disruption to road and rail users during our works.
The road will be constructed with two lanes in each direction. Works will also include the construction of a new Princes Highway and South Gippsland Highway intersection.
Why a road bridge for South Gippsland Highway?
Throughout the design and development of the South Gippsland Highway level crossing removal project we looked at a range of benefits to the local community and wider transport networks. A road over rail design allows for:
- Minimal disruption – some designs require unavoidable disruptions to rail lines, roads and nearby businesses. The majority of the road bridge will be built offline, minimising short-term impacts to the local community and avoiding extended closures of the Pakenham line.
- Future infrastructure improvements – the project will include construction of a new intersection on Princes Highway and South Gippsland Highway and ensure future road network improvements are possible.
- Urban design improvements – an opportunity exists to enhance the local area through community input into design elements of the road bridge structure. We’ll be asking locals to provide feedback on items such as retaining wall colours, landscaping options and walking and cycling connections.
- Freight network improvements – 40 per cent of Victoria’s manufacturing happens in Melbourne’s south east, so efficient freight connections in this area are a critical part of keeping Victoria moving. Removing this level crossing will make it easier, faster and safer to travel through one of Victoria’s major freight jobs.
Removing the level crossing with a road bridge means we’re saving up to three weeks of disruption of Pakenham line passengers.
A number of key factors and technical investigations have been considered in developing a design for the level crossing removal at South Gippsland Highway.
Our findings show that lowering or raising the rail line creates various construction challenges caused by:
- Geotechnical conditions – site investigations have found there is shallow groundwater and hard rock underground, which would be difficult to excavate for a road or rail under design.
- Critical services – major sewerage, gas, telecommunications and electricity services exist underground, limiting where and how deep we can dig. A road bridge design will ensure these services are not disturbed.
- Flood zone – a high water table and flood zone have been identified in the vicinity of the level crossing. A road over rail design minimises the risks associated with working near a flood zone compared to other design options
- Longer construction time – the other design options would have resulted in longer construction times, up to a year longer in some cases, with more road and rail disruptions.
|Mid to late 2019|
|2020 to 2021|
*please note that the timeline above is subject to change
- Working with the community to refine the design details and help shape the look and feel of the South Gippsland Highway Level Crossing Removal Project
- Working with owners of the small number of commercial properties that may need to be acquired as part of the project. Those affected have already been notified and we will continue to work closely with them as the project progresses.
- Working with nearby businesses to develop a construction program that minimises impacts.
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Who we are
The Level Crossing Removal Project was established in 2015 by the Victorian Government to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across metropolitan Melbourne by 2022.
In 2018, the Victorian Government committed to removing a further 25 level crossings by 2025. We have removed 29 level crossings to date with a program of removals set for the next six years.
Removing the 75 level crossings will deliver:
- More reliable roads and rail – traffic congestion will be reduced, and more trains will be able to run more often
- Improved safety – crossing the railway tracks will be much safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers
- More opportunities – removing level crossings will enhance and create vibrant areas for retail and residential development.
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