The Andrews Labor Government is close to marking another major milestone with Melbourne’s 50th dangerous and congested level crossing set to be removed by the end of 2021 – a year ahead of schedule.
Before the year’s end, a further 10 level crossings will be a thing of the past on the city’s train network, smashing the Government’s goal of removing 50 level crossings by 2022.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Acting Minister for Transport Infrastructure Ben Carroll today visited Bonbeach Station, where a new station will be built as part of the level crossing removal at Bondi Road – with the 50th removal expected to be on the Frankston line.
The level crossings at South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong South; Ferguson Street, Williamstown; Manchester Road, Mooroolbark; Maroondah Highway, Lilydale; Edithvale Road and Lochiel Avenue, Edithvale; Chelsea Road and Swanpool Avenue, Chelsea and Bondi Road, Bonbeach will all be gone for good later this year.
These level crossing removals will bust congestion, boost safety and deliver better stations for passengers.
To achieve this huge feat, there will be unavoidable disruption to train services and roads over the coming months as works ramp up across the network.
In a timeframe of just over three months, five level crossings will be removed and three new stations will be built in one go at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach – an unprecedented timeframe for one of the biggest ventures undertaken by the Level Crossing Removal Project.
These removals were combined and then fast-tracked to be gone by 2021, with work including lowering three sections of the Frankston line into trenches, creating new road connections above to replace the existing level crossings, and building three modern and accessible train stations that reflect the area’s bayside atmosphere.
This huge scale of work will cause disruption to train services and roads for about two months, and access to the three stations for around three months – but completing the work at the same time lets us maintain access for road, rail and pedestrians for the longest time possible, and ensures stations are closed for four weeks less than originally planned.
Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach stations will close for around three months from Sunday 25 July until November while the new stations are built. Buses will replace trains between Mordialloc, Frankston and Stony Point during an initial one-week rail closure from Sunday 25 July until Monday 2 August.
Trains will then run express through the stations for six weeks, until a further two-month line closure and construction blitz where major works will take place from Monday 13 September until the new stations open and the level crossings are gone for good in November.
Local roads will be closed for about two months from July to October, and commuters should prepare for major disruptions at several connections across the line including at Edithvale Road, Argyle Avenue and Bondi Road.
The $3 billion investment in the Frankston line means 12 new stations built, and 18 level crossings consigned to history. Another new station is being built and two level crossings removed further north at Glen Huntly by 2024 – making the Frankston line level crossing free between Flinders Street and Moorabbin Station.
On the Belgrave/Lilydale Line, buses will replace trains from Friday 10 September to Monday 25 October, while major works are carried out to remove the level crossings at Manchester Road and Maroondah Highway, and new stations are built at Mooroolbark and Lilydale.
Once these works are complete, the new stations at Mooroolbark and Lilydale will be open to passengers and the level crossings at Manchester Road and Maroondah Highway will be gone.
Crews are gearing up for a road closure from 16 July to 6 August for the South Gippsland Hwy, South Dandenong level crossing removal. Following these works, road users will begin travelling across the new road bridge, with boom gates interrupting traffic to be a distant memory.
Passengers are also reminded of changes to train services on the Williamstown Line, with buses replacing trains between Newport and Williamstown from Friday 20 August until Saturday 13 November while the level crossing removal is completed at Ferguson Street.
Passengers and road users can find out if they’re affected by the works and plan their journey at bigbuild.vic.gov.au
Since 2016, the Labor Government has removed 46 level crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations, delivered 30 km of bike paths and is creating around 20 MCGs of open space for local communities across Melbourne to enjoy, whilst supporting thousands of jobs.
The Labor Government is getting rid of 75 level crossings by 2025 – with one being removed on average every four weeks this year.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“The countdown is on to reach this incredible milestone, with these congestion-busting and safety-boosting projects bringing huge benefits for people all across our city.”
“The team has done an outstanding job removing 46 level crossings to date and we’re thrilled to remove 50 level crossings by the end of 2021 – one year earlier than we promised.”
As stated by Acting Minister for Transport Infrastructure Ben Carroll
“We know the coming months will be disruptive and inconvenient for train passengers, road users and the local community as our teams work to remove these level crossings and we thank people for their patience while this important work is underway.”
As stated by Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson
“Removing these dangerous and congested level crossings and building three new stations will improve train services and cut commute times for rail passengers, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians – in the process making Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach even better places to live.”
As stated by Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny
“This has been an outstanding effort by the project team to remove all five level crossings at once – I thank travellers for their patience, but the benefits once they’re gone for good will be worth it.”