6 March 2024

Public transport and traffic changes ahead for Melbourne as 'Big Build' works ramp up

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Metro Tunnel

Work is progressing on the Victorian Government’s ‘Big Build’, including the Metro Tunnel and other major works. Photo: VIC Govt.

The Victorian Government has warned of looming temporary changes to Melbourne’s public transport and road networks as work on the ‘Big Build’ works associated with the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel, level crossings removal, and other projects progress.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson says buses will replace trains on sections of the Sunbury, Cranbourne, Pakenham, and Gippsland lines at various times during March, April and May as testing ramps up for the Metro Tunnel.

On suburban and rural lines, construction is also underway on 16 level crossing removal sites. The government says it is removing 110 dangerous and congested boom gates, and that 74 are already gone.

In Melbourne’s southeast, buses will replace trains on sections of the Frankston line in March and April as work to remove the level crossing in Parkdale continues. There will also be road and rail disruptions on sections of the Belgrave and Lilydale line until late March as the Bedford Road Ringwood level crossing is removed.

While on the Pakenham line, construction will continue at the new premium stations at Pakenham and Pakenham East, and the new Narre Warren Station which will open in late March.

READ ALSO First all-electric bus depot in Victoria opens in Ivanhoe

Other major works on the West Gate Tunnel Project will include work starting on a 2.5-kilometre elevated cycleway along Footscray Road, resulting in lane closures until mid-2024. There will also be disruptions on the West Gate Freeway during March and April for asphalting works and the installation of overhead signage.

The Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road upgrade will see disruption and overnight closures on the Princes Freeway inbound, and outbound between the Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road freeway ramps for the Pakenham Road upgrade.

Other work will include the continued delivery of pieces of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) ready for tunnelling on North East Link, and there will be long-term traffic changes in Bulleen to keep drivers moving while workers build the Manningham Road ramps into the tunnels.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson said, “It’s full steam ahead on works to prepare for completion of the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel projects, remove more level crossings, and ensure we have a transport system to support Victoria’s population growth.”

Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams added, “We thank passengers for their patience as we deliver these major projects that will keep Victorians moving for decades to come.”

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