Having attended the community briefing session and read the Q&As two questions arise:
- Is the investment in the Elevated Rail a forgone decision, especially given Vic govt procurement lead times and an estimated start date of early 2020)
- Is there any real consideration of the overarching traffic issues of which the Werribee Street Crossing is only a small contributor or is the the LCA only concerned with the narrow scope of engineering solutions to remove selected crossings.
Hi Terry, thanks for your questions. You are correct that our preferred design to remove the Werribee Street level crossing is an elevated rail solution. The design is not yet confirmed by the Victorian Government, but we anticipate a decision shortly. If the rail solution is confirmed, then construction will start next year and the level crossing will be removed in 2022. Reducing congestion is a key obejctive for the project and we have undertaken traffic modelling to ensure the designs will improve traffic flow through the area.
It is incorrect to state that "100 freight and regional trains pass through each week". The regional trains stopped going through with the opening of the Regional Rail Link over 4 years ago. Very few trains go through this crossing now, so how will it possibly ease congestion? The traffic issue is solely caused by the intersections that surround this one - particularly the roundabout that links Ballan, Bulban, Grieves St N and Cottrell Streets to Werribee and Synnot Streets. That's the bottleneck. The traffic flow won't be changed one iota by removing this level crossing.
So my question is… why is the “Road over rail to the west of the level crossing” which is the “other feasible design” not being more seriously considered? I went to the community consultation session but couldn’t get an answer then, other than it was going to take longer and would be more disruptive. But surely that will be the case with any solution that is going to change the roads significantly enough to make a positive difference to traffic flow?
Hi Julia, thank you for your message. The road traffic congestion in Werribee and more broadly in Wyndham is related to the road configurations and growth in traffic volumes, but it is exacerbated by the level crossings. The level crossing is used mainly by freight trains, so the number of trains varies day-to-day but in a typical week, around 100 trains do travel through this crossing.
You are right that the regular route for Geelong/Warrnambool V/Line services is now via Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. However the Overland passenger train between Melbourne and Adelaide also uses the Werribee line and empty V/Line carriages still occasionally travel along the line for driver training, maintenance or scheduling. Longer term planning (under the Network Development Plan) proposes the extension of the Werribee line towards Wyndham Vale. When implemented, this will increase the number of trains passing through.
When assessing designs we consider each site's characteristics and use key environmental, technical and community criteria to determine the solution. The road over rail feasible design is not the preferred design because it would cause major road disruptions and require an up to two-year construction delay to move the oil pipeline and other utilities.
The preferred option with the Werribee Street Crossing is elevation. Then the westbound track goes back down, before it has to rise again to get to the former Manor Station site (the Wyndham tip). This is nuts! Also, west of Werribee is in high development mode. There already exists the Galvin/Browns Road Level Crossing. Eventually the Armstrong/Ison Roads to Browns Road Level Crossing will be needed. It is foolish not to consider these crossings in the Werribee Street plan.
The level crossings that we are removing are selected on a range of criteria including safety, congestion, and the improvement of the wider road and rail networks.
The State Government would like to keep improving Melbourne's transport network, and continue to explore options for more level crossing removals.
Re Werribee street crossing. Rail should be left as is & Roads be a triangular series with Ballan/Bulban Rds roundabout met by Princes Hwy nth/eastward overpass and Werribee Str nth/westward overpass. Similar road overpass is being built at Aircraft/Laverton. Road East/West to/from Geelong directly into Werribee central will be maintained noting reduced traffic when Duncan’s Rd/ Geelong Freeway diamond opens. Similarly, pressure on the existing intersection at the rail line will be diminished when the overpass West of Alfred Rd opens taking traffic north to Bulban Rd & Hartley estate. This triangular option avoids significant noise transfer to residents by a raised rail, and gives priority to road commuters heading East/West between Geelong & Hoppers Crossing via Cottrell Str and Nth/Sth between Werribee central & Wyndhamvale.
Hi Farrah, we'd suggest attending our community drop-in sessions where you can learn about site constraints and speak to a project team member face to face. Find out more about the events here - https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/events/werribee-and-hoppers-crossing-community-drop-in-sessions
Why don’t you build the rail bridge starting at the derrimut road underpass, build the tarneit road link to Hwy, keep cherry street open, rebuild Werribee station, but leave the heritage, and bring it down in same place opposite racecourse, it will enable more carparks at Werribee station, and improve the way traffic flows in werribee
Due to space constraints, an elevated rail structure would need to be built over the existing tracks, meaning major impacts to Metro train services during construction. The freight line running through the crossings can only be impacted for short periods. This means construction would extend by up to two years.
Will any upgrades and changes be made to the Werribee Street intersection during or after the removal of the level crossing?
Currently, upgrades to the current Werribee Street intersection are not within the project scope. Your feedback will be passed on to the design team and will be considered in developing the final design.
Why not make a new combined rail/river bridge from PRinces hwy to Ballan rd.. this would be a much better solution in my view. It would be more costly, but the traffic flow would be more laminar... point is to get maximum cars over the river/rail... towards freeway.
Keep the existing crossing for local traffic flow.
Main reason is that traffic in 20 years is going to be massive flows through there from manor lakes and beyond... just future proof it.
The only downside is no geelong bound except by the existing crossing, but a additional crossing for geelong bound could be constructed down bulban road in the future, but currently i dont think the demand is the same for geelong bound as city bound... or Wyndham vale residents getting into werribee central.
Hi Aaron, thanks very much for those suggestions. Our project is here to remove 75 level crossings across Melbourne, making communities safer and easier to get around. Building a new bridge and keeping the existing crossing open to local traffic does not meet our objectives of improving safety for all road users. For more information on options we have looked but were deemed to be not feasible visit this link: https://your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/46976/documents/108564