Five dangerous and congested level crossings at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach are now on track to be removed ahead of schedule by the end of 2021, with three new stations to open for passengers by the end of the year.
is progressing better than anticipated across the project, which will see sections of the Frankston line lowered into trenches.
The Swanpool Avenue, Chelsea Road and Argyle Avenue level crossings at Chelsea will now be fast-tracked ahead of their original 2025 completion date, joining two other crossings at Edithvale and Bonbeach previously announced as finishing early.
Boom gates at these sites can be down for 40 per cent of the morning peak, interrupting traffic flow for more than 27,000 drivers each day.
From mid-year, work will ramp up across these sites when stations at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach close for demolition, making way for three brand new stations to be built.
Trains will run express through these stations until a two-month closure of the Frankston line beginning in Spring – the project’s major construction blitz. During this time buses will replace trains between Mordialloc and Frankston/Stony Point and there will be temporary closures of level crossings.
Over a huge two months, crews will work around the clock to excavate the rail trenches, build roads over the rail trenches, extend Thames Promenade to the Nepean Highway, lay new tracks and signalling. All five level crossings will be gone at the end of this major blitz, while the three new stations will open in stages by the end of 2021.
In 2022, Work will continue on landscaping, new open spaces and parking, as well as building new walking and cycling paths as part of more than 11 kilometres of new paths from Edithvale to Frankston.
Further along the line, planning is progressing for the removal of two level crossings in Glen Huntly, with early works set to start this year. Combined with the completion of the Mordialloc Freeway, the removal of the crossings will transform traffic in the area.
Meanwhile, work is continuing on the new multi-deck car park at Cheltenham, which will open mid-year, and finishing touches are being made to new community open space in Cheltenham and Mentone.
Earlier this month, buses replaced trains between Mordialloc and Frankston/Stony Point while crews worked around the clock to upgrade signalling and create foundations for the new stations and rail trench retaining walls.
The works are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $3 billion investment on the Frankston line, removing 18 level crossings and building 12 new stations. Together with the Metro Tunnel, they will deliver more trains, more often, creating room for 36,000 more passengers every week on the Frankston line during peak periods.
As stated by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’ve already removed 45 level crossing and we’re not slowing down – this year we will remove a level crossing almost every four weeks.”
As stated by Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson
“It’s going to be a busy year and I thank residents and traders for their patience during construction – the end result will be worth it, with more safer and direct links between public transport, local shops, parking and the beach.”
As stated by Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny
“With level crossings already gone for good in Carrum and Seaford, I’m thrilled that Bonbeach is next, making a real difference for our community.”