Melbourne to axe three more level crossings by 2022

Three level crossings on the Werribee line in Melbourne are to get the chop as part of the Victorian Government’s ongoing Level Crossing Removal Project.

The crossings will be removed at Cherry Street, Werribee Street and Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing by 2022. The means by which the crossings will be removed was eventually narrowed down to one of two options, with the government expressing a preference for each crossing.

The preferred design for the Cherry Street crossing is a road bridge running over the rail line at Tarneit Road, with ‘Design B’ comprising an underpass at Cherry Street.

The road bridge was cited as the preferred option as it would allow the project to use the irrigation channel reserve adjacent to Wyndham City Council officers to provide a direct connection from Princes Highway to Railway Avenue and Tarneit Road.

The alternate design would involve digging a 4.6-metre trench to lower Cherry Street while the rail tracks retained their present level.

A rail bridge is the preferred option for the Werribee Street crossing, with a new road bridge at Bulban Road as backup. The rail bridge was chosen as the preferred option as it would incorporate improvements at Wyndham Park, and open up space below the rail line.

For Old Geelong Road, the preferred option is a new road bridge connecting Old Geelong Road to the Princes Highway, with a road bridge at the current crossing as the ‘B’ design 

Two community drop-in sessions will be held around Werribee and Hoppers Crossing to prompt further discussion around the project and allow the public to get involved on Saturday July 13 from 10am12:30pm and Tuesday July 16 from 5pm7:30pm.

Boom gates removed from Reservoir crossing in Melbourne

The Level Crossing Removal Project in Victoria is inching forward with news that two boom gates have been removed from the Reservoir level crossing in Melbourne.

The Reservoir crossing, which the Victorian Government has called “dangerous and congested” still has four boom gates left to be removed, which will continue to operate normally until their removal is scheduled.

The two gates that were removed located to the north of the High Street intersection will make space for the development of piers to support the construction of a raised rail bridge running over the former level crossing.

Building crews have been working on the foundations of the Reservoir rail bridge since the beginning of April, drilling concrete piles up to 28 metres underground to accommodate the new elevated crossing above the line at High Street.

A new station will also be constructed at Reservoir as part of the project, with completion set for 2020. Over 36,000 vehicles a day travel through the crossing, with the boom gates down for an average 24 minutes during a peak two-hour period in the mornings.

The Level Crossing Removal Project is an ongoing state government infrastructure program involving the removal of 75 dangerous level crossings across Melbourne. Earlier this month, the Victorian Government announced eight more level crossings to get the chop on the Upfield and Mernda lines.

Demolition commences on Perth level crossing removal

Procurement and demolition works have begun on the Denny Avenue level crossing removal project in the Perth suburb of Kelmscott.

Old buildings in the vicinity of the crossing, which the WA State Government referred to as being “notoriously dangerous”, are being cleared through the federal- and state-funded public transport program Metronet to make room for its Kelmscott project development. The scope of the demolition includes five state houses on Railway Avenue and Third Avenue.

Statistics from the WA Government state that the boom gates at the Denny Avenue level crossing are down for an average of three hours and seven minutes a day, with excessive wait times leading to risk-taking behaviour from drivers who try to cross the track when the boom gate is down or descending.

Work is set to commence later in the year to replace the crossing through the development of a lowered road and raised rail at Davis Road, which runs parallel to Denny Avenue. The crossing at Denny Avenue will be removed entirely.

The WA government is engaging contractors to help design and construct the $69 million development, which will incorporate a rail and bridge contract and a road and civic infrastructure contract.

“Each package of works has a different risk profile for the contractor, so the decision was made to split them into two design and construct contracts,” said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“The removal of the Denny Avenue level crossing will greatly improve the daily lives of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, improving safety and decreasing road congestion in the area.”

The chosen contractors will be required to work under the proviso that they keep road and rail disruption in the Kelmscott area to a minimum.

The Denny Avenue project marks an important milestone as the first part of Metronet’s level crossing removal program.

Pakenham line level crossing to be replaced with road bridge

The Victorian Government is fast-tracking the removal of the Cardinia Road level crossing on the Pakenham line as part of its Level Crossing Removal Project.

The Cardinia Road crossing — one of 17 to be removed from the Pakenham line and 75 in Melbourne overall — impacts over 23,000 vehicles a day according to the state government.

The government has fast tracked the construction of a road bridge to pass over the train line starting later this year, with the removal of the boom gates to follow in 2021. The Cardinia Road level crossing’s boom gates are down for up to 30 per cent of the morning peak, according to a release from the Victorian Government.

The announcement follows the news that eight level crossings from the Upfield and Merda lines in Melbourne’s north would also be dealt with by elevating the lines, creating new open spaces and connections for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Level Crossing Removal Project joined other government bodies such as the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link Project, Rail Projects Victoria and Major Road Projects Victoria as part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority established as an office of the Department of Transport in January.

The removals represent Victoria’s largest rail infrastructure project to date. The project is also intended to create over 27 new or upgraded stations by its completion in 2025.

Level crossings in Melbourne’s north to be removed with elevated rail

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.