The Victorian Government has laid out plans to deal with eight level crossing removals in Melbourne’s north as part of its ongoing Level Crossing Removal Project.
The crossings, which belong to the Upfield and Mernda lines, will be removed by elevating relevant sections of the lines.
“We said we’d get rid of them and now we’re getting on with the job of removing these dangerous crossings,” said Victoria’s Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan.
“This is part of a huge investment in the inner north creating jobs and better connections for those living and working in these communities.”
The elevation is expected to deliver more open space for the public and improve connections for cyclists and pedestrians. Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn commented that this would provide new precincts for the community.
“Our community will soon have an opportunity to provide their feedback about what they would like to see in the new open space,” she said.
Level crossings at Bell Street, Reynard Street and Munro Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick (all Upfield line) will be removed at the same time by elevating the line.
The other four level crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road in Preston (all Mernda line) will be dealt with through the construction of a rail bridge.
The removal of the Coburg and Brunswick crossings is expected by 2020. The Preston removals are set to be completed in 2021 following the commencement of major works next year.
New stations will be built at Preston, Bell, Coburg and Moreland to accommodate the changes, while also preserving the existing heritage-listed Coburg and Moreland station buildings.
The works form part of the larger Level Crossing Removal Project, which plans to remove 75 “dangerous and congested” level crossings in Melbourne by 2025.
In addition to the works in the city’s north, the Victorian Government announced today that it would begin construction works within the next year to remove two crossings on the Packenham line by 2021.
The level crossings are located at Clyde Road in Berwick and Cardinia Road in Packenham, and will join the nine that have already been removed across the southeastern line.
The Clyde Road crossing in particular has been cited by the government as a source of delay for ambulances travelling to Casey Hospital, as well as a notable congestion point on the Princes and Monash freeways.