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In 2011, when still CEO of Committee for Melbourne, I committed the organisation to look at hard infrastructure issues as part of the over-all ‘Melbourne Beyond Five Million’ process. I was pleased that the issues we identified formed higher priorities in the Government’s urban development plan.
The Committee believes that to solve some of our infrastructure challenges, we must actively look for ways to collaboratively create solutions and engage the community in making compromises.
The Committee sought to highlight poor long-term infrastructure planning with the example of separating rail and road. Removing rail level crossings is critical to prevent the city-wide, system-wide, mobility crisis Melbourne is about to face. Rail level crossings are the hinge-point issue preventing more trains servicing Melbourne’s rail network. As more Melbournians use rail each year, level crossings will stay closed more often and consequently, our roads will continue to choke.
With approximately 172 rail level crossings throughout Melbourne, each costing an estimated $100 million to remove; somehow, $17.2 billion must be found. It’s a startling figure, but investing in rail and road separation is vital to ease Melbourne’s road congestion long-term.
Committee members are working together to explore options to remove Melbourne’s most troubled rail level crossings in ways that are economically, socially, and environmentally viable.
More discussion like this is in: