Less frustration for 25,000 motorists a day; crossings removed as part of Napthine Government’s re-scoped Regional Rail Link Victorian Coalition Government investing in Melbourne’s west
Traffic will flow smoothly for the first time in more than a century with the removal of the second Anderson Road level crossing in Sunshine and the re-opening of Anderson Road to four lanes.
Minister for Public Transport and Roads Terry Mulder visited Anderson Road today and said the removal of the Bendigo-line crossing on Anderson Road was an historic moment. “For the 25,000 motorists a day that use Anderson Road, the ‘double-jeopardy’ of two level crossings within 500 metres is over,” Mr Mulder said.
“For more than a hundred years Anderson Road has been clogged by the effects of two level crossings. “The removal of the Ballarat line level crossing earlier this year was an important first step but the removal of the second level crossing, and the opening of the road underpass to four lanes today, means the delays and frustration are finally over after more than a century,” he added. He felt that on top of reducing local traffic congestion, it will also improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists through paths on both sides of the road underpass.
Mr Mulder said the grade separation of road and rail on Anderson Road was part of the Napthine Government’s broader commitment to grade separations across Melbourne. “On top of the two level crossing removals here on Anderson Road, Regional Rail Link is building 13 new grade separations across the western suburbs to ensure Melbourne’s first new major rail line in 80 years does not create any new level crossings,” Mr Mulder said. Because the project has been managed so well, and has come in nearly a billion dollars under budget, savings from Regional Rail Link will be used to remove the Main Road level crossing in St Albans, one of Melbourne’s worst, he added.
Member for Western Metropolitan Region Bernie Finn said with the removal of the second and final level crossing on Anderson Road in Sunshine, 25,000 motorists will get a smoother, safer journey every day. “The new grade separation means vehicles on Anderson Road now travel under the Sunbury and Bendigo line, and follows the removal of the Ballarat line level crossing in January this year,” Mr Finn said.
Member for Western Metropolitan Region Andrew Elsbury said that finishing works will continue on the new grade separation on Anderson Road over the coming weeks. “This is an historic moment for project, for the Sunshine community and for motorists,” Mr Elsbury said.
Mr Mulder said that across Melbourne, 26 grade separation projects have received full construction funding and a further 14 have received funding for planning. “In addition, 75 country level crossings are being upgraded, meaning safer roads for all Victorians,” Mr Mulder said.
The Regional Rail Link project will shortly see the final major closure of the line for complex signaling works between North Melbourne and Southern Cross Station.
When these works are finished next month, the journey for Ballarat and Bendigo passengers will be more streamlined and reliable, and create space to run additional V/Line services in the future.
Regional Rail Link is on track to move more people, more often when it is completed in 2015, thanks to the Coalition Government’s sound financial and project management.
For more information about the project, visit www.regionalraillink.vic.gov.au or follow @rrlproject on twitter.