Upgrades on the Hurstbridge Line in Melbourne’s north east will be completed sooner, according to the state government, with a re-scheduling of rail closures enabling continuous construction works next year.
Closures of the rail line for works to build a new Rosanna Station, remove two level crossings, and duplicate track between Rosanna and Heidelberg were initially slated for two separate instances in January and May next year, with all construction to finish in early 2019. Now a single, extended closure will take place over a consecutive 44-day period from the middle of March to the end of April.
According to state transport minister Jacinta Allan, the change in plans means that the project will be finished six months earlier than originally anticipated.
“We’re fast tracking the Hurstbridge Line Upgrade to ensure train commuters and drivers reap the benefits sooner,” Allan said.
From 30 April, the duplicated track and the new station will be in operation, while motorists will no longer have to stop at the two level crossings on Grange Road and Lower Plenty Road.
The rail duplication involves the installation of 1.2 kilometres of new track east of the existing train line between Heidelberg and Rosanna, allowing trains to run in both directions at the same time.
The works will include the construction of a new tunnel under Darebin Street and a second bridge over Burgundy Street next the existing bridge.
While the Grange Road level crossing will be removed by lowering the railway line to pass under the road, removal of the Lower Plenty Road level crossing will be achieved by building a rail bridge over the road, with a design option that responded to community desires to minimise the loss of trees in the Rosanna Parklands and to minimise visual impact on the surrounding area.
The new Rosanna Station will be located where the current one now stands, but with elevated platforms. It will feature a new retail space and forecourt accessible from both sides of the station, and walkways and pedestrian crossings connecting the station to Rosanna Village shops, Rosanna Library and Rosanna Parklands.