Road and rail projects continue this summer
As many Victorians prepare to take a break after a busy year, road and rail projects across the state will be ramping up over the summer holiday period to take advantage of the warmer weather and quieter conditions on the transport network.
Motorists are urged to allow extra travel time and to plan their journey with delays of up to an hour expected on the busy West Gate-CityLink-Monash (M1) freeway corridor. Critical works kick off with annual maintenance on the West Gate Bridge from Boxing Day until 4 January, with three of the five outbound lanes to be closed. Holiday makers heading to the Surf Coast can detour through West Melbourne and Footscray.
This will be followed by a 49-day construction blitz from 11 January as work forges ahead to widen the West Gate Freeway with the closure of Williamstown Road under the freeway and its citybound entry and exit ramps, as well as the West Gate Freeway outbound M80 ramp and the M80-Princes Freeway ramp. By the end of summer, 70 per cent of project work to widen the freeway will have been completed.
On the Monash Freeway, crews are taking advantage of the warmer conditions laying 72,000 tonnes of asphalt as work continues to add 36 kilometres of lanes between Warrigal Road and Eastlink and Clyde Road to Cardinia Road. To allow this work to take place, there will be overnight freeway closures and daytime lane closures between EastLink and Warrigal Rd, as well as some exit and entry ramp closures.
In the north, works will ramp up in January to remove a major traffic bottleneck at one of Eltham’s busiest intersections with lane closures in place as crews upgrade the Main Road and Fitzsimons Lane intersection. Major construction will take place from Tuesday, 4 January until Sunday, 13 February, with crews to work around the clock to complete six months of work in six weeks and remove the Main Road roundabout, replacing it with traffic lights. During this period there will be limited access through the intersection and delays expected of up to half an hour. Where possible, motorists are encouraged to avoid the area. The signalised intersection is expected to be operational by mid-February.
Work will also take place on the nearby Hurstbridge line duplication, with buses replacing trains between Parliament, Reservoir and Heidelberg from 2 to 9 January.
In February, as part of the M80 Upgrade between Sydney Road and Edgars Road, there will be weekend closures of the M80 Ring Road for major asphalt works as crews add in new lanes in each direction and install a smart freeway management system. Five of the six new entry and exit ramps are now open. Major delays are expected and motorists are advised to detour via the Hume Highway, Mahoneys Road, Edgars Road and Cooper Street. Those on the Hume Freeway can exit early at Cooper Street and use the Hume Highway to access the M80 Ring Road. Over the coming months, remaining works will include the installation of overhead signage structures, installing barriers, landscaping, commissioning the smart freeway management system, and completing and asphalting the new lanes on the freeway.
To allow the Level Crossing Removal Project to complete track duplication on the Cranbourne line and carry out works on the Clyde Road, Berwick level crossing removal, buses will replace trains on sections of the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines from Tuesday, 11 January until Sunday, 6 February.
To complete the removal of the Greens Road level crossing in Dandenong South, there will be road closures in January, with road users asked to plan ahead.
Works will also progress at Traralgon, Morwell, Longwarry and Bunyip stations as part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade to enable more frequent and reliable services for passengers, with coaches to replace trains on the entire Gippsland line between Bairnsdale and Southern Cross from 12 January until 10 February.
Tram services will also be impacted by a number of critical track renewal works including on Mt Alexander Road, Essendon from 3-18 January. Buses will replace trams on sections of route 58 and 59 and two sections of Mt Alexander Road in Travancore and Moonee Ponds will be closed to traffic.
Extra train and tram services will be added to the timetable over the holiday period to help Victorians get to major events, including the Boxing Day Test and Australian Open.
Passengers are reminded to wear a mask while on public transport.
For more information about these and other planned disruptions over summer, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au.