Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Black Forest has been saved from property acquisitions for the North-South Corridor tunnel project. Glandore not so. It has been devastated.

You are probably aware that the northern portal of the T2D southern tunnels has been announced. DIT held back to ensure all those residents whose properties were being compulsorily acquired knew before announcing.

While Black Forest has been saved from property acquisitions, it will however be impacted significantly by the project.

This will be in two forms. Firstly, it will be impacted during the construction of the northern portal to the southern tunnel. Secondly, long term local traffic management will potentially be impacted. A challenge for Council in both cases. While DIT has indicated they will work in with us, the burden will fall on us to get it right.

Challenges during Construction

The impact on Black Forest and neighbouring suburbs will, I suggest, be profound when the work on the northern portal is conducted. The South Road/Anzac Highway intersection will be significantly impacted during the construction of the labyrinth that is planned. The labyrinth that will see South Road interact with the Corridor tunnels and the elevated Anzac Highway access.

Thankfully, this part of the project is way off in the distance. The whole project is expected to take until 2030 to complete. That said, if I am any judge, the construction of the labyrinth will be a two-year project.

This construction is not urgent. It needs to be timed to coincide with the emergence of the tunnels into this area. This places it at the back end of the construction of the tunnel, I would have thought.

Time for DIT to plan the logistics. More importantly, time for us to ensure DIT know and address satisfactorily our concerns.

East-west connectivity

Local traffic management is an issue that DIT has not considered. Other than (that is) to indicate previously they would assist Councils when the time comes. Readers of my blogs would be aware of my thoughts on this from my blog of August 6.

DIT would expect that rat-running through our local streets would reduce, if not cease. Presumably, that would be the case. Southern rate-runners that is.

East-west connectivity on the other hand may prove to be a significantly worse challenge. Glandore parents of Black Forest PS students will be desperate to find alternate ways of accessing the school. This will prove far more challenging for them than previously.

Looking at the labyrinth there are five options for Glandore parents.

Having studied the plan hard and having an intimate knowledge of current traffic challenges in Black Forest, I have identified what I believe we (Council) will have to comprehend answers to. Answers to challenges the project will create in Black Forest, even though Black Forest has been saved.

The first is to work their way out to Anzac Highway and turn left into South Road. Or the access road. This will lead to a drop-off/pick up zone in front of the school. A great addition to the project but only accessible from the north, or from the east along Forest Avenue.

This may have little impact on Black Forest residents but may prove a challenge too hard for Glandore’s mums and dads. There are other options.

Firstly, they can use the pedestrian overpass/footbridge. Many I am sure will. Those who, for one reason or other need to use their cars need other options.

A second option then would be to work their way to Cross Road, cross South Road and turn left into East Avenue and left again into Forest. They would then access the drop-off/pickup zone on South Road. Of course, this will mean battling the trains at the Emerson crossing.

An alternative to this would be to turn left into South Road from Cross Road and then right into Addison or Byron Road. Finally, they might consider entering South Road from Glengarry Avenue or Gertrude Street, and then turn left into Addison or Byron Roads.

These options all have the potential to impact sufficiently to warrant Council taking action to make our streets safer. I look forward to working with you to identify what issues or challenges may need addressing. Likewise, to solving them.

One saving grace. It is not urgent.