The State Government has earmarked another $75million for the Mordialloc bypass this morning and announced the road, unveiled during the 2017 budget season, will now no longer have at-grade road intersections.
The Mordialloc Freeway, née bypass, was unveiled in 2017 and geotechnical investigations kicked off not long after the May 2017 budget was published. The original cost of the bypass road was $300 million.
What were to be intersections when the project was first unveiled will be grade separated freeway interchanges located at Springvale Road, Governor Road, Lower Dandenong Road and Centre Dandenong Road with the freeway terminating at the Dingley bypass.
Thames Promenade in Chelsea Heights will have northern entry and exit ramps added to its existing set of Frankston-bound southern entry and exit ramps. The Frankston Freeway will now, in effect, extend from Cranbourne Road in Frankston to the Dingley Bypass in Clayton South.
The announcement of the project's upgrade to a freeway-standard road is occurring two days before submissions close on the scoping requirements for the environmental effects statement which the planning minister deemed necessary in September 2017.
On the 24th of November, Victorians head back to the polls and this project is located in one of the four marginal electorates that won the election for the Andrews Government at the last state election.
The electorate of Mordialloc is held only by 2.1% and it is in the top 5 most marginal seats in the State's Legislative Assembly for the government. The project also travels through the electorates of Keysborough and Clarinda which are considered safer for the Andrews Government.
Among other announcements along the line of sandbelt electorates in recent weeks have included the removal of the Skye/Overton Road level crossing which is located on the boundary of the Frankston & Carrum electorates (the most marginal and the second most marginal electorates for the government respectively).
The electorate and suburb of Carrum is also set to see level crossings removed and a new elevated station built in place of the existing Carrum station. Station Street in Bonbeach and Edithvale Road in Edithvale (in Carrum and Mordialloc electorates respectively) are also on the original list of 50 level crossings to be removed over 8 years.
Planning and consultation on the Bonbeach and Edithvale level crossing removals are ongoing with only the Carrum and the Seaford-Frankston area see any significant work or announcements that work will begin before the end of the year.
In 2015, Infrastructure Victoria was set up and lauded as an agency to 'take the politics out of planning'. The Mordialloc bypass, now freeway, did not get a mention in Infrastructure Victoria's 30-year strategy - it only appears in the 5-year plan which the government was required to create after Infrastructure Victoria unveiled the first run of the 30-year strategy.
The State Government has not publicly announced any changes to the heavy rail network development plan that was released under the previous government nor provided any meaningful direction on how our tram and bus networks will evolve over time in the context of a rapidly growing metropolitan area.