THE Roughead Street railway level crossing will be ripped out as part of the Leongatha Heavy Vehicle Alternate Route works.
Due to the South Gippsland Tourist Railway ceasing operations earlier this year, VicRoads, in partnership with VicTrack and South Gippsland Shire Council, will undertake roadwork to remove the section of track and rail signals from the road which will allow for repairs and regrading of the road surface, providing a smoother ride over this section of the highway.
VicRoads Eastern Region regional director Scott Lawrence said the measures, while creating a smoother ride for vehicles, would allow for the reinstatement of rail lines should the service become operational in the future.
Mr Lawrence said while the railway line remained unused, the temporary level crossing removal would provide a number of benefits including minimising road maintenance costs, improving pedestrian paths to make it safer for pedestrian access and provide a smoother ride over the crossing while it is not in use.
He said VicTrack would also retain the right to reinstate the railway at a later date, with the new design for the road allowing for that, should it be required.
“The ongoing construction works are progressing well and we are seeing a number of sections being developed simultaneously,” Mr Lawrence said.
“With works having started in February this year, motorists and residents have already seen construction work occurring at a number of locations, including the intersection of Long Street/Nerrena Road/South Gippsland Highway, intersection of South Gippsland Highway and Strzelecki Highway and the intersection of Strzelecki Highway and Long Street.
“Identified as a priority project for South Gippsland, the alternate route will be key in facilitating amenity, safety, commercial and parking improvements within the town centre of Leongatha,” Mr Lawrence said.
“This is a significant project for Leongatha, and South Gippsland, providing a number of benefits including the removal of approximately 600 trucks a day from Bair Street, which supports South Gippsland Shire Council’s Bair Street Rejuvenation Project to create a safer, more vibrant and prosperous commercial and retail precinct for Leongatha.”
To implement the Heavy Vehicle Alternate Route, works are currently being carried out, with a number of changes to traffic conditions including:
• Changes in the level of the road surface
• Old road pavement removed and strengthened to allow for resurfacing
• New road pavements constructed where road widening is being implemented • Some lane closures
• Traffic management to guide motorists safely around work sites
• Vegetation removal to improve sight lines across the corner of Centenary Park
Works remain on schedule for completion late this year.