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“You’ve got a big problem”: expert

02 Apr 2019

“You’ve got a big problem”: expert Image

Transport expert Prof Graham Currie last month gave Yarra’s Edge residents a wake-up call on the scale of public transport needed for the Fishermans Bend urban renewal.

Speaking as part of a Docklands Community Forum panel to discuss a proposed tram bridge on March 20, Prof Currie said multiple tram crossings would be needed as well as multiple modes of transport.

“Frankly, the whole thing is underdone, which is why I kind of think you need everything,” he said.

He contrasted the development with the CBD, which was served by multiple tram routes and 12 major rail lines.

“And you’ve got two bus routes and you’re going to have two tram lines. You’ll need a lot more than that,” he said.

Graham Currie is a professor of civil engineering at Monash University. He was the “neutral” member of a panel which also included anti-bridge advocate Keith Sutherland and bridge supporter, Montague Community Alliance convenor Trisha Avery.

Prof Currie pointed out that an extra 80,000 cars were anticipated to travel each day to Fishermans Bend.

“So, just to set this in your mind in a realistic way, have you noticed the West Gate Bridge?” he said. “That thing is really only catering for 10,000 – 20,000-ish cars in the morning, getting to work. You’re going to get 80,000 out here. That’s in addition to the 10,000 you’ve got already.”

“If you think you’re congested down here with 10,000, imagine what 90,000 looks like,” he said. “So your lives are going to all change – quite a lot!”

He agreed that the tram bridge would be an “imposing structure” and said 75 metre ramps would be required to allow trams to climb the proposed six metre high span.

He said an immersed tube idea was feasible and more expensive, but would not require an extra crossing across Lorimer St.

“The idea of going below? You can do that. But it’ll cost a lot of money though. But, with a submerged tunnel, you’ve got to go down,” he said. “That will also be bad. People don’t like overpasses or underpasses.”

He also poured cold water on a suggestion that trackless trams could be the answer.

“A trackless tram was talked about. I don’t see that being a key option for you,” he said.

“There are new ideas around and whatever you choose, it’s not going to go on the roads ... because of this massive traffic you’ve got outside your front door here. And don’t forget, that’s going to increase by 10 times.”

“So those are my key perspectives. You’ve got a big problem here,” Prof Currie said.

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