Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Level Crossing Removal, Track Construction, Train Stations, Industry Infrastructure

Major milestone in Geelong line upgrade

A three-week construction blitz has returned Surf Coast Highway to its permanent alignment under the new rail bridge – a week ahead of schedule.

Critical stormwater drainage, lighting, kerbing, guard rail and asphalting work was completed during 24-hour works between the level crossing and Baanip Boulevard, allowing all four lanes of the highway to reopen early.

During the closure 1,800 tonnes of asphalt was placed to resurface the highway, and 107 cubic metres of concrete poured for the centre median strip and drainage.

Deep trenching underneath the realigned highway enabled the installation of 123 metres of stormwater pipe and 770 metres of subsurface drainage, which will connect to the existing local drainage network.

More than 80 crew members a day were involved during the closure, with local contractors RMA Civil and APS Asphalt helping deliver the realignment road work.

Artwork by local Wadawurrung artist Billy-Jay O’Toole was installed across the bridge and features traditional names Doolibeal for Armstrong Creek and Yuroyuroke for Mount Duneed.

The more than 29,000 locals a day that travelling south along the highway will see the new 103-metre installation depicting the area’s landscape and coastline, created on perforated aluminium sheeting.

Work on the new walking and cycling path, duplicated track and landscaping will continue in this section, with speed restrictions to remain in place for worker and community safety.

A shorter road closure will be required later this year to remove the level crossing for good, after which trains will begin using the new rail bridge over the highway.

The Geelong line upgrade will see three stations upgraded at Waurn Ponds, Marshall and South Geelong. Two level crossings will be removed including the one at the Surf Coast Highway and eight kilometres of new tracks will be laid.

The works are expected to create over 1300 jobs and ensure the line can have five extra services per hour during peak periods and three between peak periods.