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WORK on the removal of two of Darebin’s most “dangerous and congested” level crossings will begin in 2018.
State Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan this morning visited the High St, Reservoir crossing to announce its removal along with the removal of the Bell St, Preston crossing.
“As you can see just standing here this is an incredibly busy set of intersections that carry tens of thousands of vehicles every day, there’s over 140 trains run through both of these sets of level crossings, so it’s so important that we get on with removing these level crossings,” Ms Allan said.
“With planning and community consultation and important preliminary site investigative work to be done during the course of this year and next ahead of the contract being awarded in 2018 and works underway and started in 2018.
“Getting rid of these level crossings will provide not just for less congestion on our roads, but also give us a better capacity to run more trains on our system.”
Level Crossing Removal Authority chief executive Kevin Devlin said the authority would work with VicRoads to improve the intersection following the removal of the Reservoir level crossing.
“This is one of our most complex sites, no doubt about it,” Mr Devlin said. “There’s about six intersecting roads coming in here, and we’re going to be working very closely with VicRoads to see how we can improve the intersection as well as remove the level crossings”
“There’s a lot of work that we need to do to find the right solution for this location and get on with it, but work starts now.”
“This location is going to take about 18 months to two years to complete, so starting construction in 2018, and it will depend on the methodology and the option we choose how quickly we can do it.”
Mr Devlin said the Authority had not yet decided whether the Reservoir rail line would be put below or above ground.
Preston state Labor MP Robin Scott said the removal of the Reservoir level crossing would unite the “divided communities” situated on either side of the train line.
Jacinta Allan, Minister for Public Transport, announced 2018 will be the year work starts on the removal of Darebin’s two most congested level crossings. Picture: Lawrence Pinder“As the local member there couldn’t be a more important announcement than the removal of this level crossing,” Mr Scott said.
“Really (we have) two suburbs, because it’s just really difficult to commute across the level crossing, also there are huge traffic delays which impinge on the local community in the northern suburbs, and it’s a safety risk.
The Reservoir Junction level crossing was last year named Melbourne’s third-worst congestion hot spot in the RACV’s annual Red Spot Survey.
Darebin now has one final level crossing — at Grange Rd, Fairfield — left on the state government’s list of 50 crossings to be removed.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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