The removal of Williamstown’s Ferguson Street level crossing is another step closer, with design options to be presented to the community for feedback as planning for the project continues.
Options to lower or raise the rail line are under active consideration by the project team, after a preliminary design assessment which ruled out road-based options.
The assessment will be provided for public consultation and outlines the benefits and impacts of each option, showing what the area may look like after the boom gates are gone.
Every level crossing is unique and several factors are considered when investigating designs. At Ferguson Street, options to raise or lower the road have been ruled out because of property acquisition and the impacts to connections for pedestrians, cyclists and road users.
People can view the options and provide feedback, at information sessions on Thursday 26 and Saturday 28 March at Williamstown Town Hall, or online until 5pm on Friday 3 April.
The first phase of consultation for Ferguson Street took place late last year, with more than 260 online feedback forms submitted, more than 200 people consulted face-to-face at workshops and information pop-ups, and thousands more engaged through online updates, mailbox drops and trader doorknocks.
This initial feedback has provided valuable information about how people travel through the area and what they value most – with priorities being more efficient and safer pedestrian/cycling connections, protecting local heritage and simplifying local road connections.
Feedback from the first two phases of community engagement will continue to inform the design process as the project team considers the best way to remove the level crossing.
This site has a tragic safety record, being the scene of a double fatality in the 1990s and five accidents or near-miss incidents between trains, cyclists and pedestrians in the past decade.
More than 110 Williamstown line trains travel through the Ferguson Street level crossing each weekday, causing frustration and delay for about 22,000 motorists who cross the tracks.
More details will be confirmed once the preferred design has been determined later this year, with the crossing to be gone for good in 2022.
Visit www.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au for more information and to sign up for email updates.
Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’ve heard loud and clear from locals that they want this level crossing gone for good – and we’ll continue to work with the community as we get on and deliver what we promised.”
Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne
“Our project experts will take the community’s feedback and engineering investigations on board and keep everyone informed as they come up with the best way to remove this level crossing.”