A few more observations on the Bentleigh/Mckinnon/Ormond update — sorry to obsess over this, but it is a huge project directly affecting my local neighbourhood, and similar works will come to many areas of Melbourne soon…
Some more pictures of construction
Just south of Bentleigh station some serious work is going on re-routing a storm water drain that’s in the way of where the rail line will go. With all the utilities to be moved, no wonder these projects are so disruptive and expensive.
Apparently there have been some complaints from residents and traders about excessive numbers of worker vehicles parked close to work zones. One of the outcomes seems to have been these signs, but another initiative is shuttle buses during the big June/July shut, when up to 1000 workers will be involved.
Where possible, train replacement buses are using existing bus stops. Pictured below is one of the stops substituting for Patterson station, shared with route 701. Route 701 used to run Monday to Saturday, and only until 7pm, but was upgraded back in 2006.
Somehow the bus zones haven’t been updated to reflect the 7-day service. And with train replacements running until 1am on weekdays, and all night on weekends, you’d think they’d have updated them to fulltime bus zones. But despite this being communicated (by multiple people) to The Powers That Be, nothing’s been fixed yet.
It’s quite possible that there are numerous other part time bus zones around Melbourne that haven’t been updated. PTUA highlighted this problem in 2012.
I wonder if I go park my car there on Sunday, would they get the message?
There’s continuing anti-Skyrail rhetoric from David Davis on Twitter.
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMLC) March 27, 2016
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMLC) April 1, 2016
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMLC) March 29, 2016
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMLC) March 28, 2016
The line that nobody voted for skyrail is an interesting one, given the Coalition continues to push East West Link, a much much bigger project, which of course nobody has voted for — and which arguably the populace voted against at the 2014 election.
Anyway, there was this interesting claim on Wednesday night:
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMLC) March 30, 2016
In 2014 the Liberal/National Coalition announced $200 million (partly Federal funding) to remove the crossing at Main Road, St Albans, and also allocated $457 million in funding for crossings at Gardiner (Burke Road), Ormond (North Road) and Blackburn.
But these never got to the contract stage. After taking power in November 2014, Labor in 2015 signed contracts for Ormond, Gardiner and also Mckinnon and Bentleigh, for $524 million. They also signed contracts for Blackburn plus St Albans, nearby Furlong Road and Heatherdale for $480 million.
In other words, the Libs had funded four. Labor expanded it to eight. So it’s really hard to see how anyone is justified in implying that Liberal funding led to the Bentleigh grade separation.
(And if you’re wondering, the rail line will come back up to street level between Ormond and Mckinnon, to get over the water pipes at Murray Road.)
Palm trees go on holidays
Finally, this is truly amazing: a video showing the methods they use to send the palm trees off for storage while the project is happening, so they can bring them back later. Most other trees are just being cleared, but given palm trees can take decades to establish and grow, that’d be why they’re storing them.