LXRA: ‘No change’ on road closure

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THE state government authority tasked with removing level crossings along the Frankston line is not for turning on a decision to close Eel Race Rd in Carrum.

The Level Crossing Removal Authority, a Department of Transport body established to manage the separation of rail and road at level crossings throughout Victoria, has stood by an announcement to close the road rather than build rail over or under Eel Race Rd.

Some Carrum residents fear being “landlocked” and say there will be traffic jams at the McLeod Rd intersection if Eel Race Rd is sealed off to motorists.

State Liberal opposition leader Matthew Guy visited Carrum this month and pledged to “reopen” the road if the Coalition wins government at next November’s state election.

LXRA project director Brad Smith said most McLeod Rd drivers will see travel times decrease through a new intersection at McLeod Rd.

“Expert traffic modelling shows that removing level crossings at Carrum, building a Station St bridge over the Patterson River and closing Eel Race Rd will reduce traffic on local roads and around local schools,” he said.

“The Metro Tunnel project will mean more trains on the Frankston line which will make level crossings even more dangerous and congested.”

The LXRA says there have been 41 reported safety incidents at the Mascot Avenue, Station St and Eel Race Rd intersections earmarked for removal.

Carrum Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny said the decision to close Eel Race Rd “was not taken lightly”.

“All components of the road and rail reconfiguration, including the closure of Eel Race Rd, will work together in a very strategic, considered and deliberate way to bring about a reduction in traffic and rat-running on local roads and around nearby schools and kindergartens,” Ms Kilkenny said. 

“Residents living on Valetta St, Kalimna St, Walkers Rd and the southern end of Station St will have quieter and safer streets, with only local traffic using these roads.”

The construction of a 900-metre long elevated rail bridge will begin next year. The elevated rail will be built over McLeod Rd and Station St.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced last month that a $50 million promenade including “parkland and picnic places” will be built under the elevated rail.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 13 September 2017

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