Much better than those Purple Dots

During a walk along the line yesterday with Jennie and Steph Key we noticed a great improvement to those throw screens at the Goodwood Junction.

The pictures, depicting the local architectural history, shown here were donated by local resident Molly Birch, and no doubt they have improved her outlook. Well done all involved. I reckon this is great.

And when the mural painting occurs later this year of the 4 sides of the Tram Overpass this area will have received a much needed face lift.

Now what we need is those purple dots to disappear.

Warning—the decibels of discontent are lifting another notch

As I head of shortly to work (yes I need the money) I understand that there is yet another public meeting about to take place. That meeting organised again by Terina Monteagle and in which Vickie Chapman will attend.

It is to be held at the Victoria Street rail crossing in what I understand is a push by the Liberal State opposition to have all warning devices lowered in volume and pitch after DPTI acquiesced to do precisely that at Fairfax Street last week.

So we have our local member looking to receive a petition from Fairmont Avenue about the East Avenue crossing to take to the Minister and her opponent at Victoria Street where she will be presenting a petition to the Opposition Minister gathered by a resident close to that crossing.

Seems our little neighbourhood has become the focus of attention as the election campaign starts to pick up.

Leader Street safety issues to be addressed

DPTI have announced that they are to install a pedestrian crossover at the Leader Street level crossing early next year.

After my initial observation 12 months ago and continued similar observations since then by the residents of Goodwood, Millswood, Forestville etc that a pedestrian crossing was needed on the south side of the Leader Street level crossing the project team of DPTI have also worked it out.

I guess we simply had to have patience that they (DPTI) would eventually see what we could all see and that a pedestrian crossing was needed on the south side of this crossing. Let’s face it the projects conducted on the rail corridor were all “design and construct” so we could not expect they could plan ahead until it became obvious.

It is a shame that the observations of residents and myself could be treated with what I would suggest was disdain. It is great thought that they are now on the same page.

Thank you DPTI.

DPTI says thank you for your patience and tolerance

Free train rides through the Goodwood Junction was the feature of a thank you at Forestville Reserve today.

DPTI conducted what they called a celebration of the project and sent a big thank you to the many residents affected by the disruption to their lives over the last 12 months. There was a steady flow of people through the day, taking the opportunity to partake of a sausage and a smoothie.

Of course DPTI took the opportunity to promote the integrated transport plan on behalf of the government.

Most who attended are looking forward to the project being completed and the trains running again. As many appreciated the service that is yet to be. A number had an opportunity to alert the project management team of issues that still require resolution.

The team have indicted a desire to correct some of these, and there are some that simply wont get fixed. One they have given an undertaking to investigate is the building of a CCTV building at the corner of Arundel Avenue and Cranbrook Avenue. With some luck maybe the Minister will be asked to do what he professes he loves and that is to problem solve by extending the screen along Arundel to match the relocation of the Belair passing loop. One that wont be fixed is the relocation of the fence along Canterbury Terrace at Black Forest to assist in making that street safer for all road users. The adjacent services make this impossible.

The besser block building at Cranbrook Avenue apparently was designed by the contractor and members of the management team had no idea of its size or location. The problems this creates for residents of this area and in particular the resident on the north side, western end of Arundel Avenue would be investigated on Monday was the undertaking we received.

Hopefully a solution will be forthcoming that will at least minimize if not eradicate the new visual intrusion into the amenity of this suburb.

As I took the free ride which went from the Goodwood Station to, coincidentally a spot on the track where I used to live, I contemplated the service to come and when that might be. I was advised that the diesel trains will be back up and running in December. Dont know when in December which may mean I have to find alternate transport to get to the Test at Adelaide Oval.

In my estimation, noting they could not advise me, the electrical trains are still a good 3 months away. For anyone not contacted by the DPTI public relations team all work on the line from now on will be at night. This is to provide the opportunity to test the trains on the track, both diesel and electric. It will also provide the opportunity to train their drivers in operating the electric trains.

Victoria Street Open to cars

The rail grade separation and electrification works are coming to an end with Victoria Street, Millswood open to traffic.

There is still much to be done to be finally complete and while workers will  frequent the area there will be safety guards present at the crossing.

I noticed when visiting the site early this afternoon that sound attenuation walling is yet to commence and the Greenways bike path from the crossing back to Cromer Parade has yet to be bituminised. Of course electrification works  are well short of finished.

There are of course a number of resident concerns yet to be resolved with DPTI. Jennie & I will be seeking another audience with Rod Hook if we feel resolutions are not forthcoming in the near future.

Belair Line Closes back Down

With works on the Noarlunga line meandering I have been wondering and I’ll bet you have too if the line will be functional by the latest date for trains to be running again, namely 23 September, which is but a week away.

This storey, courtesy of Jessica Haynes of the Mitcham & Hills Messenger, increases the anxiety as to when this thing will be finished.

THE Belair rail line will be closed for overnight works for two weeks from Monday, September 16.
The line will be closed during the week between 10pm and 5.30am to Friday, September 27.
Weekend line closures will occur on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 6pm to 8am.
A bus substitute between Adelaide and Belair will be available on the weekend services.
Services are expected to return to normal on Monday, September 30.
The closures are needed as part of the works to electrify the Noarlunga line.
A Transport Department statement released today said there would be more evening off-peak restrictions and weekend line closures in the coming months for electrification works.

Is my house at risk? DPTI responds

Back on the 30th May I posted a blog on my assessment of whatever or not homes were at risk as a result of and during the various rail projects being undertaken through the western suburbs of the City of Unley. 

The Eastern Courier, via reporter John Stokes, has taken up this issue and received the undertaking from DPTI that they will rectify damage. Quoting from the article

“Where damage is proven to be caused by construction activities, the department and/or its contractors will rectify the damage.”

She said if homes had not been inspected residents could contact the department or organise their own inspection.

His article can be accessed here

A tip to anyone not in the Goodwood Junction area. If you feel you home has been affected contact the department.

And a  tip to DPTI, homes within 25 metres i suggest was a mistake. My house is 30 metres away and it was impacted upon.

Is my house at risk?

Your home is not at risk of major failure as a result of the construction works being undertaken by DPTI at the Goodwood Junction, or elsewhere along the rail corridor as the rail infrastructure is being revitalised and electrified.
Does this mean your house will not suffer some form of damage? NO! The construction works can and will impact on your house to varying degrees. Cracks may appear, plaster may fall off the wall etc.
Whatever your understanding of what DPTI’s consultant said at last night’s CAG meeting I aim to bring some perspective to it for you here.
Referring to my earlier post tonight the question not answered by DPTI at last night’s meeting is what impact will the various rail projects have on my home and WILL DPTI ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for rectification of the damage. In this earlier post I suggested this question was not answered by DPTI. The answer given was, the works will not impact significantly on your home.
Firstly! I am a building inspector when not fulfilling my obligations as a Councillor for the Goodwood South ward of the city of Unley.
As a building inspector, and with 44 years’ experience in the building industry I can say to you that the construction works being undertaken by DPTI, in my opinion, will not structurally compromise your house in any major way and that you do not have to worry that your house will become structurally deficient and collapse.
That said the construction works will more than likely be responsible for defects that may appear when certain construction activities take place.
Notwithstanding the comments made by DPTI’s experts last night about vibrations, buildings of different age, different construction detailing, and different engineering WILL react differently to the same level of vibration.
A home built 100 years ago with bluestone footings will react differently than a house built only 2 years ago with today’s engineering knowledge. A home with drummy plaster (which is common of older homes) will be more prone to plaster falling off the wall than a home with plaster that adheres to the wall as can be expected today.
Damage can and will occur to some homes. This is why DPTI have offered dilapidation surveys on some homes, homes they believe are likely to be impacted by the works. They would not have conducted these surveys otherwise.
The level of damage will not be structurally compromising however, so please, please do not panic that your home is going to collapse.
I have every faith that, once the project is complete, that DPTI will conduct further surveys and they will repair defects that, unless the defects that have appeared can be attributed to clear and identifiable outside factors, has appeared during the period of the project. I trust they will do likewise to other houses they did not conduct dilapidation surveys too.
That said, the repairs needed to your home, whilst they may be significant, will not at the end of the day be major, even though you may think otherwise. Major defects are those that will impact on the structural integrity of your home.
My advice to you is to ensure that DPTI do inspect your home at the completion of the project. In so doing be clear to them that you believe the defects are the result of the construction within the rail corridor.
Please note also that defects that may appear well after the project has been complete are unlikely to be as a result of the construction works. In my experience the defects will appear immediately or very soon thereafter.
If you wish assistance or advice with this I am happy for you to contact me via my business email [email protected].
And my advice to DPTI! May I respectfully suggest that you talk to people where they are and that means not blinding them with science. Last night I believe was a waste of time for you in public relations.

Disillusionment Continues with DPTI on Rail projects

Residents continue to be concerned they are being “snowed” by DPTI when it comes to protecting their interests after a meeting with residents last night.

This was the latest of regular meetings convened to liaise between DPTI and their contractors and the residents affected by the rail works. This meeting focused on damage to houses resulting from the constructions works. The efforts to address concerns about damage to houses was not received well.
Experts in vibration who have been commissioned by DPTI or the contractors to monitor the construction activities spoke at last night’s meeting to help residents understand what is being done to avoid damage to their homes. The presentation was a technical appraisal of vibrations of equipment and how it might impact on surrounding ground and the methodology of recording it.
Unfortunately the information provided appeared to be above the understanding of most people present at the meeting. As I saw it graph after graph after graph only confused most present. As the presentation unfolded, the message being received by residents from what I could see was that cracking in their homes was not the result of vibrations by the various equipment being used by DPTI’s contractors on the series of rail projects, but other unidentified factors.
This inspired one resident to speak up before the presentation was completed indicating she was a simple person with a simple understanding. She identified that she did not have cracks in her house before work on the Goodwood Junction commenced and now she has. Her take is that this must be as a result of the DPTI construction work.
This announcement bought the presentation by the experts to a halt.
Unfortunately the lack of trust of residents towards DPTI has widened.
The presentation focused on what vibrations are needed to impact on buildings. The standards being applied are, in the absence of an Australian Standard, based on German standards.
These standards assume houses built 30 years ago, 50 years ago, indeed 100 years ago without any engineering input will not react differently to houses built today with the engineering input applied today. The German standard indicates apparently that heritage houses, which are more susceptible to damage from vibrations, are hundreds of years old whereas houses only 100 years old are equal in their ability to withstand vibrations as are today’s engineered houses.
This is an argument not accepted by the majority of those present.
I am sure, having said that, that DPTI will respond appropriately to claims for rectification of damage to homes that occurs during the construction of the rail upgrade. But given the message received by residents last night do they (the residents) think this will happen?
I doubt it.
For an opinion on the impact of the construction works of the rail projects on homes adjacent the line check my next post.

A Meeting with Luigi Rossi

I had a meeting yesterday with Luigi Rossi (a name you all know) regarding DPTI projects in the rail corridor running through the City of Unley borders. The meeting addressed a number of concerns I have had and have publicly announced regarding the projects. I believe it was a successful meeting and look forward to an improvement in the experience residents have with the rail projects.

A number of concerns from my fellow residents have had were discussed. I was interested to hear Luigi confirm what I have heard previously from Department chiefs and that is that they have never experienced residents so passionate about their bit of turf.
Two major areas requiring attention became apparent during the meeting.
The first is that residents in areas other than immediately adjacent the Goodwood Junction project felt disenfranchised because the focus was on satisfying the needs of those adjacent the junction. The sheer volume and intensity of activity in this region has certainly required a significant focus and much has been done to work in with those residents but this should not excuse not treating others the same way.
Too often these residents have been misinformed by DPTI officers claiming that they (the resident) should be talking to another project team they should be talking to or that they should be talking to council because they are responsible for “this” whatever that may have been.
The second area is the pressure that has been placed on my co-councillor Jennie and I as we field the many concerns being expressed by our residents on a project that, whilst we have a vested interest in, is not our project and should not therefore take our major focus.
Our CEO Peter Tsokas attended this meeting and with his help we have agreed on a few initiatives that should help everybody.
Firstly and most importantly Luigi has agreed that he will appoint one man to be the overseeing project manager of the projects (plural). This one man will be responsible for all communication, ensuring there is no deferring to others.
This person will liaise with our Manager Infrastructure John Devine on all issues with which Council has an interest. Should there be any public utterances that implicate council John will be in attendance to give the council perspective.
Hopefully these two moves will sharpen up the DPTI performance in the eyes of my neighbours. It certainly should prevent the “other project team” and the “it is council” syndromes that have pervaded public communication to date.
Jennie & I will still advocate for you. To that end we will have fortnightly meetings to be appraised of design, construction, health and whatever other issues are yet to raise their heads in the near future, until the projects are completed later this year. This way we may not have to spend the sheer volume of time and energy we have had to put into a project that is not ours and allow us to monitor it and get on with ensuring council business is happening as it should.
How you communicate to this overseeing project manager has not been determined as far as I can see but this will surely be advised soon. In the meantime continue raising your concerns through the channels.