50 level crossings to be removed

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
By Feb 15, with the removal of level crossings at Melton Highway in Sydenham, and Heatherton Rd, Corrigan Rd and Chandler Rd in Noble Park, 15 crossings have officially been removed with another 35 to go including 9 currently under construction.
slowcoach
I went through Melton Highway on Friday night (the 9th of Feb) on the train and the road over rail bridge (part 1) was open to traffic with the LX gone.

They have now started work on the second part of the bridge but most disruption to trains and road traffic is done with, both directions of the highway are using the first half of the bridge while they build the second half after which the road will be widened.

BG

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  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Pitchforks are out in Essendon over the Buckley St Road-under-Rail project:
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/essendon-level-crossing-fury-shuts-down-council-meeting-20180214-p4z09n.html

"Furious opponents of a controversial level crossing project have dramatically shut down a council meeting in Melbourne’s north-west, accusing the mayor of betraying local interests by voting down a motion to sue the Andrews government over the project.

The Moonee Valley Council meeting erupted on Wednesday night after councillors declined to take legal action. The crowd’s anger led councillors to shut down the meeting after just one item on the agenda was heard.

"They went quite feral,” said Labor councillor Jim Cusack on Wednesday. He said there were about 150 opponents of the project at the meeting. “There was a big crowd. They took their gloves off and didn’t talk to the issue at all.

”Opponents accused the council of failing to do everything to halt the $114 million road-under-rail project.  Four councillors attempted to put forward a motion to sue the Andrews government over the controversial Essendon level crossing removal. Four other councillors voted against the plan.

Mayor John Sipek used his casting vote to stop any possible legal action."
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Pitchforks are out in Essendon over the Buckley St Road-under-Rail project:
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/essendon-level-crossing-fury-shuts-down-council-meeting-20180214-p4z09n.html

"Furious opponents of a controversial level crossing project have dramatically shut down a council meeting in Melbourne’s north-west, accusing the mayor of betraying local interests by voting down a motion to sue the Andrews government over the project.

The Moonee Valley Council meeting erupted on Wednesday night after councillors declined to take legal action. The crowd’s anger led councillors to shut down the meeting after just one item on the agenda was heard.

"They went quite feral,” said Labor councillor Jim Cusack on Wednesday. He said there were about 150 opponents of the project at the meeting. “There was a big crowd. They took their gloves off and didn’t talk to the issue at all.

”Opponents accused the council of failing to do everything to halt the $114 million road-under-rail project.  Four councillors attempted to put forward a motion to sue the Andrews government over the controversial Essendon level crossing removal. Four other councillors voted against the plan.

Mayor John Sipek used his casting vote to stop any possible legal action."


Realistically, this is the worst of the solutions so far. In an ideal world (and I am skeptical of the heritage value of this station), this would all just be demolished with a new 3 platform station being built in the current location in a cutting, with the cutting extending under Buckley St and a re-leveled Mt Alexander Road.

The solution planned is just awful:
- terrible pedestrian links
- visually putrid
- terrifying for cyclists
- rubbish connections for vehicles
- not even DDA compliant

This site would be better served remaining as a level crossing rather than what's going to go ahead.
gb274
One of your points I have to correct, it is DDA compliant. Connections to vehicles is decent (compared with other modes). But there was a serious issue with the gradient along the rail line so if were done at Buckley street, Alexander Road would of been affected. Essentially redoing a grade seperation would be costly as well as keeping intact and moving some of the station. Not the ideal solution I agree, but the only feasible option for the LXRA to stay within budget.

Whereas the Aviation Road LX removal had little reason for a road based option. It had an excuse that it would be more disruptive due to the freight line. There is plenty of land space and there is RRL if freight needs to be diverted. Also it won't realign the freeway exits onto Point Cook Rd and create a pedestrian mall along the current shopping strip.

I have proposed for Aviation Road LX if they were going with the cheaper option to provide more connectivity to the area, by redoing the whole network to increase connectivity to all modes (roads, pedestrian and other movements)
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&mid=1S3duxh47SOt7i-6kZkEKYVbDLIK8TIyX&ll=-37.86760361355553%2C144.75758135&z=17
  equityma Beginner

can I ask who are you and how do you have the power to "propose" the aviation rail
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland



.

Whereas the Aviation Road LX removal had little reason for a road based option. It had an excuse that it would be more disruptive due to the freight line. There is plenty of land space and there is RRL if freight needs to be diverted. Also it won't realign the freeway exits onto Point Cooke Rd and create a pedestrian mall along the current shopping strip.

James974
All the Werribee line level crossings will most likely to road based options (ether a road deviation over or under the present railway tracks)
This Is due to the ARTC Interstate mainline, that they will only permit a total of 60 hours per year of planed shutdowns on each route.
RRL can't take SG trains !

Changing the freeway ramps to connect with Point Cook Road (no "e" on the end) would be a major expensive project (due to no spare road reserve to re route the ramps) that would struggle to get any funding for an urban renewal project.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
can I ask who are you and how do you have the power to "propose" the aviation rail
"equityma"
As far as I am aware, anyone who wants to put up a proposal for infrastructure has every right to do it. What is this "power" you speak of?
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Pitchforks are out in Essendon over the Buckley St Road-under-Rail project:
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/essendon-level-crossing-fury-shuts-down-council-meeting-20180214-p4z09n.html

"Furious opponents of a controversial level crossing project have dramatically shut down a council meeting in Melbourne’s north-west, accusing the mayor of betraying local interests by voting down a motion to sue the Andrews government over the project.

The Moonee Valley Council meeting erupted on Wednesday night after councillors declined to take legal action. The crowd’s anger led councillors to shut down the meeting after just one item on the agenda was heard.

"They went quite feral,” said Labor councillor Jim Cusack on Wednesday. He said there were about 150 opponents of the project at the meeting. “There was a big crowd. They took their gloves off and didn’t talk to the issue at all.

”Opponents accused the council of failing to do everything to halt the $114 million road-under-rail project.  Four councillors attempted to put forward a motion to sue the Andrews government over the controversial Essendon level crossing removal. Four other councillors voted against the plan.

Mayor John Sipek used his casting vote to stop any possible legal action."


Realistically, this is the worst of the solutions so far. In an ideal world (and I am skeptical of the heritage value of this station), this would all just be demolished with a new 3 platform station being built in the current location in a cutting, with the cutting extending under Buckley St and a re-leveled Mt Alexander Road.

The solution planned is just awful:
- terrible pedestrian links
- visually putrid
- terrifying for cyclists
- rubbish connections for vehicles
- not even DDA compliant

This site would be better served remaining as a level crossing rather than what's going to go ahead.
gb274
I'm just going to pick you up on the heritage value of Essendon Station.  Essentially it's the first of its design in Melbourne and there are some unique architectural features.  I won't go into that much detail in the post as the heritage citation provides enough detail: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/438

What this means is the station complex can't be demolished and simply rebuilt. Any alterations to the crossing that involved a rail under solution, and the incredibly expensive rebuild of Mt Alexander Rd to bring it above the railway would have involved altering the station complex.

I understand that the road under solution isn't perfect however it's the only way the station could realistically be protected.  As an addition there are plans to make this station an intermediate terminating station as part of the wider scope of works for the Melbourne Metro project: http://metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/40480/MM-Business-Case-Feb-2016-APPENDIX-03.PDF
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Whereas the Aviation Road LX removal had little reason for a road based option. It had an excuse that it would be more disruptive due to the freight line. There is plenty of land space and there is RRL if freight needs to be diverted. Also it won't realign the freeway exits onto Point Cook Rd and create a pedestrian mall along the current shopping strip.
All the Werribee line level crossings will most likely to road based options (ether a road deviation over or under the present railway tracks)
This Is due to the ARTC Interstate mainline, that they will only permit a total of 60 hours per year of planed shutdowns on each route.
RRL can't take SG trains !

Changing the freeway ramps to connect with Point Cook Road (no "e" on the end) would be a major expensive project (due to no spare road reserve to re route the ramps) that would struggle to get any funding for an urban renewal project.
Nightfire
Werribee street crosses the river and the railway and would be difficult as a road option. Cherry street is another tricky one with too many connections close the crossing that would be difficult to find a rerouted road option.

I missed a part while reading this : https://wongm.com/2016/06/regional-rail-link-freight-train-noise/
Yeah seems like only certain freight can use the RRL but not those using another gauge (ARTC is SG not BG)

But wait one second that ARTC has been disrupted for RRL works by slewing the tracks. Why can't that be done in those locations there is plenty of space.

Another thing is those ramps should be realigned even if it means compulsory acquisitions. The ramps are not aligned onto Point Cook which means all the traffic converges on that intersection at the roundabout which connects the shops with the station. It will be expensive but I am hoping the benefits should outweigh the costs. I have submitted the idea to LXRA to see if it is feasible or not. Obviously some of the works are not within in their scope, such as the freeway exits, but another agency can deliver it seperate such as Vicroads (which have done many of these similar projects in the past). Sneydes Road was recently redesigned with exits in Point Cook as well as duplication, hopefully the same is implemented for Point Cook road.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

@James974 the Essendon plans are actually not DDA compliant. LXRA uses some very tricky wording to indicate that while DDA ramps will be provided to access the central subway from each end, there *won't* be DDA access to the actual platforms (ie no work done on the central ramp, no lift provided opposite, etc). This is a shocking outcome, definitely the worst by far.

Look at this spin:

New entrance ramps to the central underpass connecting Rose Street and Russell Street will provide improved access for people with disabilities
LXRA


This is rubbish. If they didn't improve the access to to the central underpass, there would be no DDA compliant way of crossing AT ALL, given the level pedestrian gates will be removed. There was a proposal for another DDA subway on the south side, but it's been deleted.

And this:
new entrance ramps through the central underpass which provide access for people with disabilities
LXRA

The key word is through the underpass. Not to the station or platforms, just through it.

Great.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Werribee street crosses the river and the railway and would be difficult as a road option. Cherry street is another tricky one with too many connections close the crossing that would be difficult to find a rerouted road option.
James974
It will be Interesting to see what designs they come up with, given the area around Werribee Is In a flood zone, I'm tipping a road over option for both crossing removals, probably by re-jigging the local road network.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

@James974 the Essendon plans are actually not DDA compliant. LXRA uses some very tricky wording to indicate that while DDA ramps will be provided to access the central subway from each end, there *won't* be DDA access to the actual platforms (ie no work done on the central ramp, no lift provided opposite, etc). This is a shocking outcome, definitely the worst by far.

Look at this spin:

New entrance ramps to the central underpass connecting Rose Street and Russell Street will provide improved access for people with disabilities


This is rubbish. If they didn't improve the access to to the central underpass, there would be no DDA compliant way of crossing AT ALL, given the level pedestrian gates will be removed. There was a proposal for another DDA subway on the south side, but it's been deleted.

And this:
new entrance ramps through the central underpass which provide access for people with disabilities

The key word is through the underpass. Not to the station or platforms, just through it.

Great.
bramt
I will ask the LXRA on Facebook for a response to this. I will post their response here too see why these things are left out of the scope of the current works.

You are correct I have seen minor issues with the current design. Like the third lane should really just removed since its kinda useless since the road goes back 2 lanes and should be replaced with a cycling lane instead.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Alright I got a message by the level crossing removal authority back that having the Aviation crossing diverted to Point Cook road required the government land to be purchased. Vicroads are currently investigating the traffic movements in the area. So most of the options were cancelled out.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
bevans
This sounds like rubbish to me .
This is a VERY worthwhile project and on the whole being well done .
It seems to me all some people can do is Whinge. and yes I live close to one of the projects recently completed
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The blow outs I imagine have come out of changing from the initial estimates to under and over changes. Who knows as they are unable to tell us. Seems odd.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
This sounds like rubbish to me .
This is a VERY worthwhile project and on the whole being well done .
It seems to me all some people can do is Whinge. and yes I live close to one of the projects recently completed
Crossover
True Crossover and as someone who uses the Bendigo line I well remember crawling through St A and Ginifer seeing all that traffic banked up for miles, now not a single at grade crossing between SC and Calder Park and it's great.

The projects are definitely worthwhile but our governments need to be accountable as well, if there have been huge cost blowouts I for one want to know why.

BG
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

If you're worried about cost inflation, I have calculated costs of all the grade separations going on. Just seems to me that it is the expansion of the scope that leads to the increase in costs for some.

Average cost of one removal is  about 125 million at this stage. Grade separation projects are expensive, and why this is normally done site by site, not a huge program. If each crossing costed 100 million, 50 costs 5 Billion. Lets say each costs 125 million, now the cost is 6.25 billion. A small increase in each site, would mean an overall huge increase with the whole project.

My previous post "31 crossing removals that have been costed total around 4 billion dollars. "
  • First contract 524 million total, 131 million each
  • Second contract 480 million total, 120 million each
  • Bayswater Package 177 million total, 88.5 million each
  • Dandenong contract 1.6 billion total, 187 million each
  • Melton Highway 46 million
  • Thompson Highway 175 million (includes road duplication)
  • North East Package*  395 million total, 127.5 million each
  • Southern Frankston Package 588 million total, 172 million each
  • North Western Package** 284 million, 71 million each
  • Western Package*** (only Kororoit creek) 82 million
Mind you each crossing removal benefits many people, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, train users, locals, businesses & jobs. So many people are benefited from a single project hence why it is worth the money spent since 180 crossing exist on the network. But when there are less and less busy crossings left, then the benefits are limited with the cost around the same, this is when it should go back to site by site delivery or end of closing off the remaining crossings.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Any comments from LNP shadow ministers, eg Michael O’Brien, about the amount of money wasted need to be corrected for the LNP Election Exaggeration Factor (LEEF). This figure is hard to quantify, however David Davis’s recent comment about billions being wasted on myki is a good starting point. The total cost of installation and operation of myki over 10 years is given as about $1.3 billion. It is hard to see a cheaper comparable system being installed for less than $500 million, so the wastage (see comments below) would be about $800 million at best. Davis Davis’s ‘billions’ must at least be $2 billion. $2 billion divided by $800 million gives an exaggeration factor of 2.5. Hence when you hear or see hysterical claims of billions being wasted divide it by 2.5.

Whether the LEEF remains constant or increases as the election draws nearer, eg tens of billions wasted on myki, remains to be seen.

None of the above accepts what the actual wastage was; if any. There has been no detailed comparison with the previous or other systems in terms of costs and savings, eg buses not delayed by commuters with $50 notes. Any comparison with Opal, for example, would need to include the cost of Tcard.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Level Crossing Removal have now updated their website. What are your thoughts?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The Essendon plans are actually not DDA compliant. LXRA uses some very tricky wording to indicate that while DDA ramps will be provided to access the central subway from each end, there *won't* be DDA access to the actual platforms (ie no work done on the central ramp, no lift provided opposite, etc). This is a shocking outcome, definitely the worst by far.

This is rubbish. If they didn't improve the access to to the central underpass, there would be no DDA compliant way of crossing AT ALL, given the level pedestrian gates will be removed. There was a proposal for another DDA subway on the south side, but it's been deleted.

The key word is through the underpass. Not to the station or platforms, just through it.

Great.
I will ask the LXRA on Facebook for a response to this. I will post their response here too see why these things are left out of the scope of the current works.
James974
Hey everyone, I have finally got a response back from the LXRA about the lack of DDA access at Buckley street crossing removal.

This is what they messaged me:
"Hi James, in regards to your question about Essendon, the decision to remove the underpass on the southern side of Buckley Street was made after receiving feedback from the community and stakeholders that an underpass was not the best way to cross the rail line.
To improve access for people with disabilities through the Station precinct, we'll be extending the entry ramps for the central underpass so that they become DDA compliant. We’ve been tasked with removing the level crossing on Buckley Street, and upgrades to Essendon Station are outside the scope of our work, but we’ve passed your idea about including lift access to the platforms onto Public Transport Victoria who are responsible for maintaining the station faciliites."
Well that is good news, I may have provided a suggestion that actually could happen. Despite the some controversy about the LXRA they are nice enough to respond back to constructive feedback. Smile
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
A bus got cleaned up by Puffing Billy at a level crossing recently. Yes, really. It seems even the least likely level crossings still get their fair share when it comes to stupidity, it's right up there with the moron truckie who collected a tram at Royal Park.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Aviation LX removal has been finally been decided road bridge over the railway. Starts construction by the end of 2018.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Aviation LX removal has been finally been decided rail bridge over rail. Starts construction by the end of 2018.
James974

Road bridge?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Aviation LX removal has been finally been decided rail bridge over rail. Starts construction by the end of 2018.

Road bridge?
reubstar6
Yes: https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/road-bridge-to-replace-the-dangerous-aviation-road-level-crossing-in-laverton
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Aviation LX removal has been finally been decided rail bridge over rail. Starts construction by the end of 2018.

Road bridge?
reubstar6
Fixed now.

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