THE Victorian Government has fast-tracked the removal of the Skye/Overton Road level crossing in Frankston, with Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan last week announcing that work to remove the crossing will start this year and be finished by the end of 2018.
The level crossing is located between Skye and Overton Road in Frankston, with just under 10,000 vehicles passing through the level crossing each day. The boom gates are down for an average of 34 minutes during the weekday peak between 7:00am and 9:00am.
The project involves the construction of a rail bridge over Skye/Overton Road, which the government says will:
- Improve access and liveability in the area by allowing people to travel by foot, bike, bus or car from one side of the rail line to the other safely and efficiently;
- Increase access also has a positive impact for local businesses;
- Provide open public space under or around the structure, creating new spaces and opportunities for improvements such as car parks, pedestrian and cycle paths, and landscaping;
- Allow for large trees to be planted along the rail line for privacy and screening; and
- Not have any private property acquisition and no impact to the existing floodplain and overland water flow.
The design includes improvements to the Skye/Overton Road and Dandenong Road West junction, to improve traffic flow between the Frankston Freeway, central Frankston and the surrounding industrial and retail precincts.
After extensive technical investigations last year, the Level Crossing Removal Authority, in consultation with Melbourne Water, determined that lowering the rail line into a trench was not feasible because it would create a barrier across the existing floodplain and interrupt overland water flows.
A preferred contractor will be announced by the middle of the year, along with the detailed final design of the project.