West Melbourne residents “very concerned” as no commitments are made to West Gate Tunnel Project noise barrier

West Melbourne residents “very concerned” as no commitments are made to West Gate Tunnel Project noise barrier
Brendan Rees

A community campaign to have noise walls built as part of the Wurundjeri Way extension has not given residents “any certainty” after the state government maintained the project could be achieved without such a facility.

With a state election looming, the West Melbourne community has waited anxiously for the news that could ultimately affect their future neighbourhood amenity and quality of life.

Under the plans, the extended Wurundjeri Way would be an elevated road around 100 metres away from Railway Place between Dynon Rd and Dynon St where it will join the current Wurundjeri Way.

It would be extended north through the proposed E-Gate development, a 20-hectare state-owned site that is earmarked to become a new suburb with green space to accommodate a projected 10,000 residents.

But residents, who currently contend with heavy train freight, are concerned about the future traffic noise on their doorstep, which would also see vehicle pollutants increased.

As reported by the North West City News in June, the West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) said a 63-decibel noise limit would apply to the new Wurundjeri Way extension and that detailed noise modelling showed “this can be achieved without requiring noise walls” – a statement the WGTP’s acting chief executive Peter Lellyett stood by in October.

 “The extension of Wurundjeri Way over Dudley St will create a city bypass, reducing the amount of traffic using Spencer and King Streets, making it quieter and easier to get around,” he said.

“The West Gate Tunnel Project is required to meet strict noise limits in the design and construction of the Wurundjeri Way extension and noise modelling shows these limits can be met without noise walls.” 

The Department of Transport (DoT) said it had met with the community to discuss their concerns around the existing rail noise impacts and potential changes from the WGTP.

“The Department is reviewing the concerns that have been raised and will keep the community informed,” it said.

Once the Wurundjeri Way extension opens, which is expected to be in 2025, the DoT said a noise assessment would be carried out to ensure the 63-decibel noise level was met.

In a statement repeated earlier this year, the DoT said, “In the unlikely event that the noise levels are not achieved, mitigation measures will be implemented.”

But the North and West Melbourne Association’s chair Kevin Chamberlin said the community continued to be “very concerned about the failure of the government to support noise barriers on the Wurundjeri Way extension”.

 

“The answers from the government are still very vague, and do not provide the community with any certainty that their amenity will not be adversely impacted by the failure of the government to construct the noise barriers,” he said.

 

“The North and West Melbourne Association has, from the outset, supported the campaign by the community to have the noise barriers constructed.”

The new road will have three lanes in each direction and is predicted to be used by more than 9500 vehicles per day.  •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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