By Jessica Anstice
Works are underway to remove the dangerous and congested Cardinia Road level crossing in Pakenham.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan joined Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale at the site to inspect works to build a temporary road on the eastern side of Cardinia Road.
A road bridge will be built over the rail line on Cardinia Road to reduce congestion, slash travel times and improve safety for the growing community.
“Even though the contract for this was only awarded a couple of months ago, it’s great to see work is already being done to keep the traffic flowing as much as possible while we’re getting on with the construction of the road bridge,” Ms Allan said.
“Removing the Cardinia Road level crossing with a road bridge allows us to reduce disruption to people driving and catching the train.”
To safely build the temporary road, some daytime lane closures and full overnight closures of Cardinia Road will be in place from now through November and December.
From Sunday 24 to Friday 29 November and Sunday 1 to Tuesday 3 December, Cardinia Road will be closed between Shearwater Drive and Henry Road from 9pm to 5.30am.
The shared use path on the western side of Cardinia Road will also be closed from 24 November until the project is completed in 2021.
“There will be times where there will be disruption to the normal flow of traffic but the end game, of course, is getting rid of this bottleneck all together,” she added.
“We work really hard to deliver all of our projects as quickly as we can but also in a way that minimises the disruption – there will always be some disruption however with projects of this size and scale.”
The boom gates at Cardinia Road are down for up to a third of the morning peak and by 2026, more than 24,000 drivers will travel through the crossing every day.
Thrilled about the project being fast-tracked, Ms Crugnale said the removal of Cardinia Road level crossing is a “great start” to removing the first of the four level crossings in Pakenham.
“We thank locals for their patience,” Ms Crugnale said.
“There’s certainly a lot of traffic in the morning and afternoon periods in this area so to remove the level crossing and have that flow of traffic is great for the area and township.”
Cardinia Road is one of 17 level crossings to be removed on the Pakenham line, with boom gates to go by the end of 2021.
The State Government is investing over $15 billion on projects that will create room for 121,000 extra passengers on the Pakenham line in peak hour every week.
Three additional level crossings at Racecourse Road, McGregor Road and Main Street in Pakenham will be removed with a rail over road design and include a new Pakenham superstation to be complete by 2025.