Ringwood is one step closer to being level crossing free, after the Bedford Road boom gates were officially removed on Thursday as part of the two-month construction blitz to build the new rail trench.
The 24/7 blitz kicked off on Tuesday, with Bedford Road closed to traffic at the level crossing and buses replacing trains on sections of the Belgrave and Lilydale lines while crews work to lower the rail line into a trench under Bedford Road.
With the gates now gone, crews will start piling and excavating more than 20,000 cubic metres of dirt for the 380 metre rail trench, which will measure eight metres at its deepest point.
Getting rid of the crossing will reduce congestion for the 13,500 vehicles that use the crossing each day and make the Belgrave Line boom gate free from Ferntree Gully to the city.
The level crossing will be gone for good by April, when Bedford Road reopens to traffic and trains start running through the trench. Work will then begin on building the new community open space and pedestrian and cycling path along the rail line to connect Bedford Park to the Heathmont Rail Trail.
Bedford Road is the first of 4 level crossings set to go in Melbourne’s outer east in 2024, with works also ramping up at nearby Dublin Road, Ringwood East, Coolstore Road, Croydon and Cave Hill Road, Lilydale, making the Lilydale Line the first rail line to be level crossing free, a year ahead of schedule.