Railworks Revegetation to Commence

The railways projects that have dogged Goodwood South for 18 months take their final works with the re-vegetation to be carried out by Council.

Cromer Parade and Arundel Avenue are the focus in our ward and Forestville Reserve will be the focus of our northern neighbours. Letters to Cromer Parade residents were posted yesterday and Arundel Avenue residents today advising of content and timing schedules.

It will be great to see this happening.

DPTI will be funding Arundel Avenue, and the northern end of Cromer Parade and Council has included the southern end of Cromer Parade in its 2014-15 annual business plan and budget.

Of course when I say final works there remains a number of things DPTI need to do which we have left in the capable hands of your State Local member Steph Key.

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.

Public Meeting re ongoing concerns with Rail Revitalisation Project.

As a number of your neighbours celebrate the saving of the Sugar Gums this afternoon (see separate post on this blog site) the work in getting a fair deal from DPTI is not yet complete.

Many of you would be acutely aware of this. 

Some of you will be aware that Terina Monteagle (the Liberal candidate for Ashford) has undertaken to advocate for us with DPTI on the level pedestrian crossing on the Seaford line (adjacent Fairfax Street, Millswood). As a result of two public meetings concerning this have been held, one attended by Vickie Chapman, the Shadow Treasurer for Transport & Infrastructure.
Others along the corridor (you might be one of them) have asked Terina to look into other unfinished business.
In response to this Terina has organised another public meeting as detailed below. On her behalf sorry about the late notice, she has only just now confirmed the venue.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity and come along and air your remaining concerns about the work of DPTI.

A Celebration for once on the Corridor

Residents of Cromer Parade will be celebrating tomorrow afternoon at 5.00 pm with a flag raising.

The celebration of course is probably the most accomplishment of G-RAG during the liaisons with DPTI on the issues that the rail upgrade caused to our suburbs.

Unfortunately I have another commitment at that time but in my absence may I say this:

“As your local representative for the first time on Unley Council, I take pride in being part of a community that not only cherishes its environment but had the strength of character, but also the maturity to meet the threat on our neighbourhood with calm and reasoned debate and action. It has been a difficult and at times an energy sapping and emotionally draining year. We paid a huge price during the time DPTI trespassed into our space, some of us more than others, but the price was worth it. The price of inaction or inappropriate action on our part would have been far greater.
I encourage all of us to keep this community spirit as other major projects touch on our door steps again.
Well Done everyone”.

Passenger Trains Return to Noarlunga Line

Yes the trains are running again. After a few weeks of ghost trains we now have real trains running complete with a handful of passengers.

As promised last week by the Government passengers services are up and running, with a service stopping all stations from and to Noarlunga. Check out the webpage below for a time schedule.


Of course this does not mean DPTI are finished. Far from it.

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.

Safety Issues created by Goodwood Junction works addressed.

Safety issues only identified during the construction process of the Goodwood Junction project have been addressed by collaboration but no consultation.

It became clear during the latter stages of the various rail projects around what has become known as Goodwood Junction that there were going to be driver, bike, pedestrian safety issues for traffic using Victoria Street.

As a result and following a detailed risk assessment and receipt of local feedback, DPTI and Council’s Traffic Experts have implemented left turn in only from Victoria Street to Lyons Parade. This has been deemed the safest design solution for this junction.

Two way movements along the length of Lyons Parade have been maintained, however, all movements at the junction of Lyons Parade and Victoria Street are now prohibited, with the exception of Left Turn In, which is permitted.

West bound Victoria Street traffic from Goodwood Road can access Lyons Parade via Foster Street or Newman Street.

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.

The Belair line will be closed overnight throughout October

The following courtesy of Jessica Haines of the Mitcham & Hills Messenger.

The Belair line will be closed overnight throughout October.
The line will be closed between 10pm and 5.30am for works on the adjacent Noarlunga line from Tuesday, October 1, to Thursday, October 31.
Trains will only operate between Belair and Mitcham 8am–6pm on weekends and on Monday, October 7, and Monday, October 21.
Bus substitute services will be available during rail closures.
For more information call Adelaide Metro on 1300 311 108 or visitwww.adelaidemetro.com.au .

DPTI presents Community Wildlife Project to Neighbourhood Watch

At the invitation of Clarence Park Neighbourhood Watch DPTI presented their proposals to re-establish the local wildlife disturbed by the recent rail revitilisation works through Unley.

This project, in partnership with the City of Unley and the NRM Board, will provide an opportunity for people to work them to return wildlife habitat to where it has been impaired or destroyed as the rail project rolled out over the last 9 months.

DPTI have undertaken to fund and facilitate community wildlife project information centres and nesting-box building workshops with students from surrounding schools. Examples of the boxes where available at the presentation. They showed video of the students of Black Forest and Goodwood Primary Schools enthusiastically committing to protecting their local environment.

This program, as reported before in this blog, is an extension of our very own nesting-box program; a program that has seen from memory some 30 boxes located mainly in the eastern parts of the City of Unley. This brings it out west.

More information can be found at www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/RR

More strife for DPTI with their promise that residents will not be worse off for noise, as per this article from the Sunday Mail.

Residents say electronic signal noise on Belair line is costing them sleep

  • SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 11:34PM


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Hell's bells on Belair line
MAKE IT STOP: Residents Greg Moorhouse (holding Ruby), Georgine Roodenrys and Dane Moorhouse at the upgraded train crossing. Picture: Tricia Watkinson. Source: News Limited
HAWTHORN residents say the “high-pitched” sound from new electronic signals is so loud not even expensive double-glazing to their properties can block out the noise.
Adding to the pain, they say, are klaxons at the Angas Rd crossing that sound at random and shake them from slumber in the middle of the night.
They are now demanding the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure reduce the sound of the signals – and pay to soundproof their homes.
The new klaxons replaced old “hammer and bell” gongs, and are being installed across all level crossings.
Georgine Roodenrys, 40 a and husband Jamie bought their Angas Rd house, 25m from the rail crossing, a year ago and successfully double glazed their windows to block noise from the old gongs.
But Ms Roodenrys, who owns The Larder on Goodwood, said the new klaxons were waking their daughter. “We all understand rail warnings have to be given but there (must be) a way to minimise the impact,” she said.
A DPTI spokeswoman said the department was investigating the residents’ complaints.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

As anyone living near the line could tell you the Noarlunga line will not reopen soon. I alluded to this in my post late last week about the Belair line closing down again. 

And I hate to say it but the line was never going to ready when the Government boasted it would be. No I don’t I predicted this way back day 1.

The time line for this project was never going to be met and that is without adding extra works like Wayville Station etc.

While life has not been pleasant as many a news article has reveled for residents along the line I encourage everyone to have patience. The day will come when then trains do return, and more to the point the electric trains take their turn.

When that days comes I know there will be many of these people sharing in a drink of celebration and relief that is is all behind us.

Outside the Meeting

Whilst we had a successful meeting with Rod Hook today other issues were surfacing as we met.

I came into possession of the DPTI submission to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC)
just prior to the meeting with Rod Hook (see earlier post today), courtesy of our planning department, who have been asked to provide comment on the submission. I gave Jennie a copy so she could present it to the CAG meeting tonight.

We did not have time to discuss it with Rod Hook and we did not have time prior to the meeting to pick up on the detail to allow us to discuss it. Suffice it to say Ray Broomhill (member of GRAG) and Jennie will be raising it as we speak at tonight’s CAG meeting. Jennie is bound to report on this in her next blog post.

I understand that DPTI have indicated to the DAC that widespread public approval has been received from the public. It seems there has been some good consultation with various residents on each section of fence but widespread approval I doubt has been achieved.

At the end of the day the solutions may have been widely discussed and it may well be that the solutions offered may be the best available. I am sure residents will not be impressed however at not seeing let alone being able to comment on the final designs before they are approved by DAC.

It does look like that they have agreed with resident concerns in a number of streets with solutions that appear to address sound attenuation issues. The occupants of the flats in Lyons Parade for instance are due to get double glazing. The house on the corner of Lyons and Victoria will have a special one off solution.

Not sure everyone will be pleased however.

Meeting with CEO of DPTI

Today’s meeting, my second with Rod Hook, this time with Jennie and with our own CEO and our General  Manager Infrastructure, shows the value of talking with decision makers.

The meeting was arranged to discuss a number of issues still alive and needing direction on the rail corridor projects. We scored a number of wins for our residents courtesy of a CEO who wants to not disadvantage residents, and who is quite open to providing choice where this can be done without compromising the project profile set by the Government.
The major win today was confirmation of the latest saga to beset the project, and which was the subject of a public meeting last week. THE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AT MILLSWOOD, Arundel to the Bowling Club, WILL NOT BE CLOSED.

We also queried him on what is going to happen with Graffiti not just at the end of the rail revitalization projects but by way of ongoing maintenance. Whilst we (Council) indicated we might be able to contribute through our volunteer program, Rod indicated they will be letting a contract similar to that being used on the nearby Gallipoli Underpass.

This involves regular observance and removal within 24 hours. Seems to be working on my experience on the Underpass.

The walkway between Cranbrook Avenue and Victoria Street will be retained which will be well received by residents in that Millswood pocket between Goodwood Road and the Belair  rail line.

He will also look into why there is only a 1200 high mesh fence along Canterbury Terrace, agreeing with my observation to his staff a couple of weeks back that is was not safe.

All in all it was a successful meeting and i look forward to the fruits of our discussions on location.

DPTI running true to form

The headlines online today from the Eastern Courier read “Residents to hold meeting tonight to protect crossing at Millswood.”

This was in response to DPTI finding out only after the Belair trains were back in operation that their redesigned turn out bay to allow Belair trains travelling in opposite directions to pass have cut the line of sight for pedestrians crossing the corridor from Arundel Avenue to the Millswood Reserve. This means it is not safe for pedestrians to use the crossing.

This is a direct result, as I have oft claimed in the ongoing saga of the various rail revitalisation projects, of DPTI simply not having the resources to complete the projects in the time requested by the State Government. The State Government have their own agenda of course and that appears to have stuff to offer the electorate as examples of what they can do ready for the next sate Election. This may well backfire on them given the amount of angst along the rail corridors.

The problems we (residents) have experienced and their (DPTI) lack of consultation with affected residents can be simply attributed to this. They could not consult over that they were not aware of until ready to construct or have constructed (as in this case).

And again as I have been saying all along, the method of project management that DPTI use ….”Design & Construct” …. leaves little room to consult anyway because how can you when you don’t know what your doing before you do it.

Back to Millswood. Residents rightfully are aggrieved at yet another broken promise and more so when met at the meeting with verbal advice from DPTI that “they will not rule out closing that pedestrian crossing” which flies in the face of brochures at the crossing from DPTI saying “they have no plans to close the crossing”.

I congratulate residents on their civilized and considered presentation to Liberal Candidate for Ashford at the next election Terina Monteagle, Liberal member for Unley David Pisoni and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Vicki Chapman. A number of good observations have been made about how to solve this State Government created malaise.

Vicki and Terina will be taking these to DPTI management and we all thank them for that and await the results.

In the meantime I have a suggestion for DPTI’s management. If something has gone wrong and it will affect residents:

1   Don’t hide it from them. Admit it. Let them know as soon as the problem is discovered with a commitment to work with them to solve it.
2   Offer to go away and look at solutions that can be bought back to the residents, noting the need to recognise such essential things as safety etc.
3   Provide multiple solutions and seek input from residents on those solutions.
4   Implement the best option, after that process has been completed.

That may or may not be what residents prefer for sound engineering reasons or for safety but at least they will feel they have contributed rather than being lied to.

This is an approach I have long held in my business dealings. I have found that not only does it cost my business less in the long run but your client appreciates your integrity, which has other positive influences on your bottom line, repeat business or favourable references. Gee they stuffed up but you know before I could pick on them they had fixed it.

This is an approach I am actively seeking Council to adopt. We (Council) indeed have matter coming before us shortly that I will be speaking to in like terms.

It may be fair to say people in the past could not care but we are a new breed now. We do care. And while there may still be a lot of people out there who simply want the government to make decisions and get on with it, they are more who want to feel they are contributing and that the Government cares for them and how a project may impact on them.

The 21st Century solution as it where.

Reduction in Services designed to provide “optimum services for Belair customers”.

That is the offering of a Transport Department spokeswoman to the announcement that peak hour services will be cut on the Belair Line.

As services resume tomorrow on the Belair line residents who use the Glenalta, Pinera, and Belair Stations find their 6 month wait to get back on the train has been gazumpedPeak hour services will now terminate at Blackwood.

So it looks like the humble motor car gets to retain it’s importance.  People used to using this station now are looking to fighting for a carpark at the Blackwood Station or, worse yet for the residents who live on or near Unley Road, continue to drive into town.

If you are interested check out more at the Adelaide Now website http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/five-evening-peakhour-train-services-to-belair-to-terminate-at-blackwood/story-fni9lkyu-1226681881457

Seems like spending of State Government money must be on infrastructure rather than service. You cant provide the service without the infrastructure of course but surely there is no point in building the infrastructure if the service is going to be watered down.

Belair line resumption stalled due to signalling issues.

In case you missed it, straight from the Adelaide Metro Web Site

The resumption of rail services on the Belair line scheduled for this Sunday 14 July will be delayed due to a signalling issue.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure advises services will resume once officials are confident the signalling issue has been resolved.
In the meantime substitute bus services will remain in place.
It will also operate in tandem with trains for a 48 hour period after rail services resume ensuring the smoothest possible transition to rail operations.
With customer and public safety the Rail Commissioner’s highest priority, the decision was made to delay trains after the latest system tests identified repair work was required on a single signal on the Belair line.
The department’s no-risk approach to rail safety means the signal in question must now be re-tested to ensure the problem has been rectified.
Rail Commissioner, Emma Thomas said while she was disappointed the original re- opening was not possible, there is no room for compromise where safety is concerned.
“We deliberately scheduled to return on a Sunday to provide a contingency should an issue such as this be identified, but I do acknowledge the short notice and apologise to our customers,” she said.
“But in a rail environment there is no room to move on the safety of our passengers, our staff and the general public.”
“I want to reassure everyone that this is our safety system at work, doing what it should by identifying issues and allowing us to rectify them and keep our network safe.”

Comedy capers in Clarence Park. When a gate is not a gate

It has been a fun day in Parker Terrace, Clarence Park today watching workers requiring access to the rail corridor use all forms of ways of gaining that access.

I watched with amusement but without camera in hand to capture it in pictorial form to watch workers, scale the fence and even slide under the bottom of the fence like a gopher or a wombat. Others came and went in bemusement.

Heavy equipment came expecting access too. They drove off never to be seen near gate 39 again.

What was the problem.

Gate 39 has become the Clayton’s Gate….you remember the add….the gate you have when you don’t’ have a gate.

Seems the original contracts on the rail corridor have met their time frames, and the fence removed for access was replaced late last week, avoiding any penalties for non completion on time. But the temporary gate remains and that is in front of the fence.

So open the gate and you are met with the fence.

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 http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/work-on-goodwood-rail-underpass-may-have-damaged-nearby-homes/story-e6frea6u-1226661925745

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.