The travel delays to plan for across Victoria’s roads and railways this summer

If you’re planning to zig-zag across Victoria this summer to make the most of the beaches and visit family and friends, there’s a few planned delays to be aware of.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has asked Victorians to be patient as level crossing removal projects, West Gate Bridge maintenance and work on the West Gate Tunnel project cause some disruptions.

Here’s what you need to know.

Melbourne’s west is seeing most of the delays

The final leg of construction work on a rail bridge to replace a level crossing at Werribee Street, Werribee is among the first projects to be aware of, with buses replacing trains between Laverton and Werribee from Sunday November 29 to Sunday December 6.

From early December, you’ll want to keep an eye out for massive concrete segments making their way from Benalla to Footscray Road to build an elevated road as part of the West Gate Tunnel project. Motorists on CityLink and the M80 Ring Road should be careful around these slow-moving deliveries and only pass when it is safe to do so.

The West Gate Bridge will be undergoing maintenance from Boxing Day to January 6, meaning three of the five outbound lanes will be closed and overnight closures will affect inbound lanes.

Those headed to the Great Ocean Road should plan for delays of up to an hour due to the lane closures.

A pedestrian waits to cross the Glenroy level crossing, which is closed as a train moves past.
The level crossing at Glenroy Road will be removed by building a trench so that the rail line can run underneath the road.(Supplied: Level Crossing Removal Project)

For six weeks from January 11, both inbound and outbound ramps from the Princes Freeway to Geelong Road and the M80 inbound ramp to the West Gate Freeway will also be closed.

The West Gate Freeway will close in both directions at Grieve Parade in Brooklyn between January 6 and 11 and inbound M80 traffic will be diverted, while crews demolish and replace the “outdated” southbound bridge as part of the West Gate Tunnel project.

Motorists are being encouraged to factor in up to an hour extra to their trips along that stretch of the freeway.

Other upgrades on roads in Melbourne’s west will cause disruptions on Derrimut Road, Tarneit Road and Palmers Road.

Glenroy Road will also be closed at the level crossing for seven weeks from January 8 to February 28.

In the city’s north, the Edgars Road interchange to the Western Ring Road will be closed between December 7 and 21 while crews build extra lanes.

You might need to get used to the bus

A bus replacing train services pulls out from a stop.
Most of the bus replacement services will only be in place for a week.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

There’s quite a few train lines where buses will be replacing some legs of the train journey at times:

  • Sunbury line: February 26 to March 7
  • Werribee and Williamstown lines: February 26 to March 3
  • Lilydale line: December 11 to 20
  • Frankston and Stony Point lines: January 31 to February 7
  • Cranbourne line: November 25 to December 2
  • Craigieburn line: Jan 6 to Jan 16

And if you find yourself in the CBD for the first time in months, note that northbound traffic on St Kilda Road won’t be able to turn left onto Flinders Street for two years due to Metro Tunnel works.

Disruptions to Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland lines

Upgrades along the busy Ballarat line will see buses replace trains for five weeks from December 28.

V/Line says on its website that a temporary timetable for that period will be released closer to the disruption.

Buses will also replace sections of the Gippsland train line between November 28 and December 6, while work is completed on a new rail bridge over the Avon River.

If it helps with the pain, the Government says trains will be able to travel across the new bridge at 90 kilometres per hour, up from 10kph at present.

Sunbury line upgrades will also see buses replace trains between Southern Cross and Gisborne stations on the Bendigo line between February 26 and March 7.

You can find more details on the disruptions at the Victorian Government’s website.


Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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