Earlier this year we wrote to the Minister for Local Roads seeking detailed information as to the propose changes to Punt Road and the cost of Road widening versus a Road Tunnel.
We specifically asked
I would like to know how much world a Road tunnel under punt Road cost to construct and if he development and design of the Metro Tunnel which Cross Punt Road will impact or preclude a future Road Tunnel. Ideally the two would be constructed together.
Nathan Corcornon from Vicroads wrote back with the following reply ignoring our question
Thank you for your email in regards to Punt Road.
The ‘Punt Road Investigation’ aims to provide the government with possible short-term options to improve the corridor. The investigation aims to improve safety for all road users, help traffic flow, increase reliability of public transport and improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians along and across the entire corridor.
Possible improvements that are being investigated include implementing 24-hour clearways, introducing a fifth lane within the existing road reserve, east-west connectivity improvements and public transport priority measures.
Tunnels require significant financial resources and typically involve a long and disruptive construction period. At this point in time Punt Road is not as efficient as it could be, the focus of the Punt Road Investigation therefore, is to develop solutions that maximise the operation of the infrastructure we already have (i.e. Punt Road) to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency.
Additionally, only 15-20% of vehicles are travelling the majority of the length of the Hoddle-Punt corridor, therefore there will still be significant demands on the surface road network that need to be addressed.
Any options to improve Punt Road are being examined alongside the Streamlining Hoddle Street initiative which aims to improve travel times and reliability of trips along Hoddle Street.
As we are still in the ‘exploring’ phase of the project, feedback received is being used to help us prioritise areas for improvement and subsequently guide options development. These options will be presented to Government in early 2016.
Once again, thank you for your input.
Streamlining Hoddle Street & Punt Road Transport Investigation Project teams
In 2009/10 the Brumby Government looked at what to do with Hoddle Street Punt Road and cam up with a proposal for grade separation and a tunnel at budget cost of 1.5 Billion Dollars
This proposal has fallen off the radar and Nathan Conornan is apparently not aware of it.
What is of concern is that the cost of purchasing property top facilitate a road widening of Punt Road is estimated to cost around $750 Million and it will not facilitate or address the traffic concerns along Punt Road.
Contrary to the statement made by Nathan Conornan the percentage of vehicles traveling along Punt Road that travel the full length from the Yarra to Carlisle Street is greater than 80%. the 15%-20% figure he quotes is the full Hoddle/Punt Road (Clifton Hill to St Kilda) corridor.
Whats more the Metro Rail Project which will no longer stop at serve South Yarra is most likely ignored the need to design both tunnels (Road and Rail) together. The Metro rail may prohibit any future road tunnel option under Punt Road.
State Planning at its worst. Again the Government is remaining numb on these issues. Metro Rail is not talking to Vicroads and both are not talking to the community. They certainly are not listening.