The countdown is on to Melbourne’s 59th level crossing removal, with the Hallam Road boom gates officially removed during the ongoing construction blitz on Friday night.
The dangerous and congested level crossing is the site of 14 near misses in the past 10 years – 11 involving pedestrians and three involving vehicles.
By early April the level crossing will be gone for good and traffic flowing freely beneath the 394-metre elevated rail bridge, improving safety and slashing travel times for 20,000 vehicles per day in Melbourne’s booming south-east.
Motorists and commuters are asked to plan ahead and allow extra travel time, with ongoing road and rail disruptions scheduled until early May to allow crews to carry out work safely.
Buses have replaced trains between Dandenong and Pakenham stations until the last service on Monday 21 March, with trains using the new elevated rail bridge from Tuesday, 22 March.
Hallam Road has been closed at the level crossing until Saturday 2 April. Bus stops have been moved during this time to allow crews to remove the existing rail line and re-build the road.
A shuttle bus is running along Hallam Road to connect bus passengers and pedestrians to their PTV bus stops and to cross the level crossing.
Access to adjacent businesses and residences is being maintained and detour routes via Pound Road and Princes Highway will be in place.
The existing Hallam Station has also been closed until the new station opens to passengers on Monday, 2 May.
Removing the level crossing at Hallam Road will be the first major milestone for the project, which will culminate with the opening of a new, elevated Hallam Station in early May.
The new station features entrances on both sides of Hallam Road, a new forecourt, more bike storage and improved parking, and safer pedestrian and cycling links through the station precinct.
During this time, trains will run express through Hallam Station, with shuttle buses connecting passengers to Dandenong, Hallam and Narre Warren stations.
In total, 85 level crossings will be removed by 2025 – with 58 already gone for good – improving safety and reducing congestion in Melbourne’s suburbs.