$3.9m blackspot fix on Springvale Rd

Cr Sean O'Reilly at the to-be-signalised exit from Virginia Street onto Springvale Road. 238815_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Springvale Road black-spot is set for a $3.9 million safety upgrade, as part of the 2021-‘22 State Budget.

The project includes traffic signals at the Virginia Street-Newcomen Road intersection, and a right-hand-turn ban and splitter island at the Rosalie Street exit.

Traffic will be constrained by a slower 40 km/h speed limit.

In June 2020, Greater Dandenong Council called for $1 million for lights at Virginia Street, following a fatal three-car crash at Rosalie Street in 2019.

Drivers heading north from the Rosalie Street exit will be forced to turn left and U-turn at the new traffic lights.

South East Metropolitan MP Lee Tarlamis said residents no longer would have to make “risky manoeuvres” to navigate the intersection.

Drivers had been “running the gauntlet” trying to exit right onto Springvale Road into busy and fast-moving traffic, he said.

Or “waiting forever for a break in traffic” to turn left without the help of traffic lights.

Mr Tarlamis told Star Journal it was hoped the signals would also relieve the general congestion in the area north-east of Springvale train station.

The impact would be monitored and reviewed, he said.

In 2020, the council also called for a re-introduction of a left-hand turn from Springvale Road to Lightwood Road due to unintended impacts from the nearby level-crossing removal.

Congestion was worst at school pick up times at Sandown Road and the unsignalized Lindsay Williams Crossing onto Lightwood Road, a council report found.

Motorists’ only signalised exit to drive north on Springvale Road is at Lightwood Road – again via Lindsay Williams Crossing.

Cr Sean O’Reilly, who welcomed the proposed upgrade, said it would help residents facing “iron walls” of traffic turning north onto Springvale Road.

But Lindsay Williams Crossing may still need a remedy.

“We haven’t seen the design yet. We’ll see if (the upgrade) may divert traffic from the Lindsay Williams bridge.”

In 2014, the then-VicRoads claimed traffic modelling up to 2046 showed traffic signals weren’t required at the intersections at either end of the bridge.

Five years later, the Department of Transport – formerly VicRoads – told Star News stated it was now not responsible for the Sandown Road and Lightwood Road intersections.

It is managed by City of Greater Dandenong, it asserted.

On 10 July 2019, the department defended the safety of the fatal crash site at Rosalie Street and Springvale Road.

It found there was sufficient sight distance at the intersection, with a centre median allowing cars to make a staged right turn onto Springvale Road.