By Casey Neill
Originally published by Star News Group, 23 November 2017
Springvale’s Spaghetti Junction will go underground if the Coalition wins next year’s state election.
The Liberal and National parties announced their Get Victoria Moving plan on Monday 20 November.
Leader Matthew Guy pledge to remove traffic lights and roundabouts at 35 intersections, including Princes Highway and Springvale, Centre and Police roads in Springvale, and Heatherton and Hallam roads in Endeavour Hills.
The overall project will cost between $4.1 and $5.3 billion and Mr Guy said it would cut congestion and make roads safer.
“Removing these suburban congestion hotspots will make our roads safer and keep traffic flowing which means less time spent sitting in gridlock and more time at home with family and friends,” he said.
“It also means people like tradies, couriers and salespeople who use the roads to get between jobs, will be able to do so more quickly.
“This project will create thousands of jobs in the construction phase.”
Mr Guy said another 20 intersections would join the list following community consultation.
If the Coalition wins government next November, he pledged to complete 30 grade separations in the first term.
Liberal candidate for Mulgrave Maree Davenport said Spaghetti Junction was the third worst intersection in Melbourne according to this year’s AAMI Crash Index.
“It takes a ridiculously long time to get across the multi-lane and multi-turn intersection to get anywhere,” she said.
“Between 2012 and the end of 2016, there were five fatal crashes on Springvale Road, with a further 159 accidents resulting in serious injuries according to Victoria Police.
“This doesn’t include the all-too-common rear-enders, side swipes and near misses which not only causes injuries, inconvenience, cost of repairs and being without your car, these accidents bring Springvale Road and Princes Highway to a standstill.”
Roads Minister and Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan said Mr Guy’s “embarrassing thought bubble would cut Endeavour Hills in half”.
“He’d ban right turns at the intersection of Heatherton Road and Hallam Road – pumping traffic into surrounding streets,” he said.
“An underpass would make the intersection a no-go zone for pedestrians while simply shifting traffic down to the next intersection.”
Mr Donnellan said that for four years, the previous Liberal government didn’t invest in road projects or maintenance.
“Traffic backed up across the state while the Liberals sat on their hands,” he said.
“We’re widening the Monash, the M80 Ring Road and the Tulla.
“We’re upgrading the suburban roads that people rely on every day – like Thompson’s Road and Narre Warren North Road – just to name a few.
“And we’re building the congestion busting major road projects that will get trucks out of suburban streets – the West Gate Tunnel and North East Link.”