The Victorian government’s $1.6 billion project to remove all level crossings from Caulfield to Dandenong is showing progress, with the first elevated rail beams now in place.
“The first elevated rail is up, as we remove these relics of the past and create 2000 jobs in the process,” said Premier Daniel Andrews, who visited Noble Park to witness the 70-tonne beams be lifted into place.
The new beams will support the elevated tracks and stations designed to remove nine level crossings and free up vast new open spaces for parks, paths and community facilities in Melbourne’s south east.
The beams are being manufactured at a pre-cast facility in Melbourne’s west, and an additional 2,200 concrete segments are being prepared in a separate pre-cast facility in Pakenham, employing hundreds of workers.
“This massive project is creating thousands of jobs here in Melbourne’s south east, and all over Victoria,” the premier said.
Boom gates along the busy Cranbourne-Pakenham line are often down for up to 80 minutes in the morning peak-hours. With the removal of the level crossings, the government expects a reduction in congestion and an increase in safety.
“My community lives the frustration of these boom gates every single day”, the premier said, “this project cannot come soon enough, and we won’t waste a minute getting it done.”
The government predicts the project will be complete by the end of 2018.