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The first designs for the removal of the deadly Ferguson Street level crossing have been revealed as works on major road and rail projects in Melbourne’s west ramp up – to fix some of the region’s worst traffic bottlenecks.
After an extensive community consultation, site investigations and engineering assessments, the dangerous and congested Ferguson Street level crossing will be removed by lowering the rail line beneath the road.
The Ferguson Street level crossing has a tragic safety record, being the scene of a double fatality in the 1990s and five near-miss incidents in the past decade. More than 110 trains travel through the crossing each weekday, causing frustration and delays for 25,000 motorists who use the crossing each day.
There has been strong community support for a rail under road design throughout consultation, with more than 800 submissions during two rounds of community engagement in November and March.
The project will include a new North Williamstown Station with lowered platforms, plaza areas and landscaping. The project team is now calling for feedback on the look and feel of the new station precinct, how spaces around the new station can be improved, landscaping options, design themes, fencing preferences and ideas for public art.
As part of the huge transport investment in the west, work also continues on the new four-lane Duncans Road bridge, which will be complete later this year. The works will benefit more than 11,000 motorists that use the Duncans Road Interchange every day, connect growing communities, reduce travel times and improve safety.
In June and July, work will be underway on the West Gate Freeway ramps, Williamstown Road, and Millers Road, as well as at the Werribee Street level crossing, where crews are preparing the area for major construction by relocating underground services and moving traffic lights to make way for the new rail bridge.
The Western Roads Upgrade works will improve eight main roads across the west including repairing and resurfacing of 37 roads, strengthening bridges and delivering more than 50 kilometres of walking and cycling paths.
The six level crossing removals across the Werribee and Williamstown lines and the Metro Tunnel will create room for 63,000 extra passengers every week on the lines during peak periods.
Construction at Ferguson Street will begin in early 2021 and the level crossing will be removed in 2022. For more information about Victoria’s huge infrastructure agenda and disruptions is available at bigbuild.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“This crossing has been the scene tragedy and puts the community at risk every single day – we’re getting rid of it.”
“Our big build is removing traffic bottlenecks and building a better rail network across the west and right around Melbourne – and it’s creating vital jobs as we rebuild from coronavirus.”
Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne
“We’ve listened to the community – I thank everyone who provided their feedback and ideas. A rail under road design is what the community wants and now it’s time to get rid of this dangerous and congested crossing for good.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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