WARRAGUL’S third rail crossing, connecting Alfred Street to Queen Street at Normanby Place, was officially opened to the public this morning.
Above: Baw Baw mayor Debbie Brown and Narracan MP Gary Blackwood in front of the new underpass shortly after it was opened. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
The new underpass, constructed as part of the station precinct upgrade, has been designed to improve transport connectivity.
The underpass features both road and pedestrian paths, and traffic lights have been introduced at the intersection of Queen Street and Normanby Place as part of the development.
“It is a big day for Warragul,” Narracan Liberal MP Gary Blackwood told reporters at today’s opening.
“[The Warragul Station underpass] is major piece of infrastructure that has been required for a long time and it’s finally here.”
“This is about our community, not about Labor or Liberal or government of any persuasion. It’s about having infrastructure that we need to cope with the population that is coming in the future.”
Mr Blackwood said the precinct upgrade would grant easier access to structures on the south east of the railway line.
“As you know, a lot of our sporting precinct, our schools, the saleyards are on the south side of the rail way line, so to access that from the north east is going to be much easier, as well as the freeway and hospital,” he said.
Above: walking the new underpass.
ALP Eastern Victoria MP Harriet Shing also spoke at the event.
Ms Shing emphasised the importance of the whole station precinct project to the Gippsland region.
“It’s the little things like compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act, run off and capturing of stormwater, the way in which the pick up drop off areas have been set up, which really start to take Warragul from being an area where people have to make do with infrastructure to an area where infrastructure is really the heart of what brings community together,” Ms Shing said.
Above: before the underpass was officially opened, one motorcyclist decided they couldn’t wait and after weaving through traffic cones was the first public vehicle through the underpass today.
“Now what we have is an area that really improves the connectivity of this part of the world and then will create really important knock on effects for the rest of Gippsland.”
Both Mr Blackwood and Ms Shing thanked Vic Roads, project manager Charlie Broadhurst, construction company Thiess and Public Transport Victoria for their involvement with the precinct project.
The Warragul Station Precinct Upgrade was jointly funded by the federal and state governments.
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