Aviation Road Level Crossing Removal Works To Start
27 September 2018
Works to remove the dangerous and congested level crossing at Aviation Road in Laverton will start later this year, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
The final design and contract has been awarded to remove the Aviation Road level crossing which will deliver a vital road connection to local businesses and the Princes Freeway, and a rail intersection that is used by around 140 metro and freight services each weekday.
The level crossing will be removed by building a road bridge over the Werribee line and will be delivered in stages to ensure overall disruption is minimised for road and rail users.
The first stage of works will include the road bridge, on-road bike lanes and a pedestrian path, a new shared-use path along Maher Road, upgrades to the pedestrian level crossing at Aircraft Station and improvements to the Aircraft Station forecourt area on Triholm Avenue with early works expected to start in October this year and the level crossing removed by early 2020.
The second stage of works, timed with future level crossing removal works at Werribee Street and Cherry Street in Werribee, a pedestrian underpass will be completed to provide an improved connection to Aircraft Station.
By constructing the underpass in a second stage, the project team can ensure access to the station platform using a combination of stairs and ramps, which was the preferred option during community consultation.
By staging works, it allows for trains to continue to run on the Werribee line as the road bridge takes shape, with temporary rail shutdowns limited to weeknight and weekend closures.
Together with the Level Crossing Removal Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne, the Aviation Road level crossing will be removed by the Western Program Alliance comprising of McConnell Dowell, Arup and Mott MacDonald.
The Alliance has already successfully removed level crossings at Kororoit Creek Road in Williamstown North – including a partial duplication of the Altona Loop – and at Abbotts Road in Dandenong South. Planning is also well under way on the level crossings at Werribee Street and Cherry Street, with both to be removed by 2022.
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29 Level Crossings Gone As Buckley St Underpass Opens
28 September 2018
The Andrews Labor Government promised to remove 20 level crossings by the end of 2018 and today 29 are now gone for good.
In Essendon, traffic is flowing freely through the new Buckley Street road underpass after it opened earlier today, removing the dangerous and congested level crossing months ahead of schedule.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Member for Essendon Danny Pearson and Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll at the former dangerous level crossing to see traffic flowing safely separated from trains.
To build the new 270 metre road underpass, more than 20,000 tonnes of soil was removed at an average rate of 1,300 tonnes per day using four excavators, two bulldozers, a grader and a loader. A total of 5,000 truckloads, including 60,000 cubic metres of concrete and 4,000 tonnes of steel, were delivered to complete the project.
The removal of the level crossing means Essendon is now safer and better connected for thousands of local school children when they return from school holidays.
The level crossing was among the worst in Melbourne with the boom gates down for around 78 minutes during the morning peak. It led to major delays on Buckley Street and surrounding roads and caused frustration for the 11,000 people who drove through it each day.
Almost 300 people worked around the clock during the final seven week construction blitz to remove the Buckley Street level crossing, with landscaping works to be complete by the end of the year.
Across Melbourne, the Labor Government has removed 29 level crossings and built 22 stations.
These works are also making communities safer – over the decade to 2015, 20 people have lost their lives at the 50 dangerous level crossings the Government is removing, with 60 collisions and around 680 near-misses.
The massive pipeline of work is also creating thousands of local jobs, with more than 26 million hours now worked on the project. Planning is already underway to remove the next 21 level crossings and works are ramping up at Carrum, Reservoir and Laverton.
Another 25 rail level crossings to go under Labor pledge
21 October 2018 — 12:03pm Craig Butt & Noel Towell
Labor has pledged to remove another 25 of Melbourne's "most dangerous and congested" level crossings by 2025 if re-elected next month.
Premier Daniel Andrews moved on Sunday to extend and upgrade Labor's most successful signature policy from its four years in government, pledging to spend another $6.6 billion on the citywide project if successful in November's poll.
The government says 29 crossings have been removed so far, with another 21 to be gone by 2022 and a total of 75 rail-road intersections to be taken away by 2025.
But the project has not been without controversy, with vocal local resistance, particularly in the south-east, to "sky rail" – raised sections used to elevate the railway over the road – and criticism of the cost of the removals, which has blown out by at least $2.3 billion.
But Mr Andrews said on Sunday that the safety and congestion-relieving benefits of removing the extra crossings was worth the newly announced expenditure.
The 14 level crossings to be removed are:
• Gap Road in Sunbury
• Cramer Street in Preston
• Murray Road in Preston
• Oakover Road in Preston
• Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing
• Glen Huntly Road in Glen Huntly
• Neerim Road in Glen Huntly
• Chelsea Road in Chelsea
• Argyle Avenue in Chelsea
• Swanpool Avenue in Chelsea
• Munro Street in Coburg
• Reynard Street in Coburg
• Union Road in Surrey Hills
• Mont Albert Road in Mont Albert
Getting On With Removing Two More Level Crossings
27 November 2018
The Andrews Labor Government will get on with removing two dangerous and congested level crossings in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert.
Every Victorian has their own story of level crossing frustration on our roads and rail lines. For many, they’re more than a frustration – they’re the scene of a serious injury or, tragically, the place where a loved one was lost forever.
This local community knows that the Labor Government can remove level crossings – with Blackburn Road removed in May last year.
The Government will remove the Mont Albert Road and notorious Union Road level crossings, making the Belgrave/Lilydale line crossing-free between Ringwood and the City – with two new stations also to be delivered as part of the project.
Around 22,000 vehicles currently travel through these two crossings each day, with that set to grow to more than 26,000 by 2026.
As well as causing congestion delay, the level crossings in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert are deadly. There have been two serious collisions since 2005 – including a tragic incident in 2016 when two people died at Union Road in a collision with a train, in addition to eight recent near misses.
Preliminary advice from expert engineers is that the preferred design is rail under road, subject to further detailed engineering work and community consultation.
The Belgrave/Lilydale line is the second busiest line in Melbourne – removing these level crossings will see faster express trains and less delays and cancellations. The Government has already removed 4 level crossings on the Belgrave/Lilydale line, with work underway at Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale.
These local communities will also benefit from the Suburban Rail Loop which will connect every major train line, with up to 12 new underground stations.
Getting Rid Of Toorak Road Level Crossing
13 February 2019
The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with removing the dangerous and congested level crossing on Toorak Road in Kooyong which is a major bottleneck for tens of thousands of Victorians every day.
This intersection is one of Melbourne’s busiest and most congested, with the boom gates down 35 per cent of the morning peak, which will grow as more trains run.
Early planning works began in December, including geotechnical and engineering assessments to determine the best way to remove the level crossing.
A rail bridge will be built to remove the crossing, which is a major bottleneck for the thousands of people travelling on the Monash Freeway and CityLink via local roads. The design will improve pedestrian and cycling connections, create new open space, minimise disruption and limit the loss of trees.
It also avoids the need to relocate complex services, including one of Melbourne’s largest telecommunication cables that connects local homes and businesses in the eastern suburbs.
Other designs would interrupt the flow of flood water into nearby Gardiners Creek, take more than a year longer to build and require Toorak Road to be closed for several months. This would impede access to and from the Monash freeway and disrupt the flow of 37,000 vehicles that travel through the level crossing each day.
This design also avoids the need for buses to replace trains on the busy Glen Waverley line, which is used by 160,000 people each week for a long duration. Building a road underpass beneath the Glen Waverley line, or bridge above it, is not possible due to the area’s topography and proximity to the Monash freeway.
The community is encouraged to provide feedback about how they would like the new open space to be designed and used — and about improvements to pedestrian and cycling connections.
The project will create hundreds of jobs during construction and is due for completion by 2021.
Skyrail to be built over notorious Toorak Road bottleneck
February 13, 2019 — 1.46pm Paul Sakkal and Benjamin Preiss
The state government plans to build a skyrail over Toorak Road in Kooyong.
A skyrail up to nine metres high will be built over Toorak Road in Kooyong, next to the Monash Freeway, to replace one of Melbourne's most congested rail crossings.
The elevated railway line will be 550 metres long, stretching between Kooyong and Tooronga stations in Melbourne's east.
Premier Daniel Andrews described the existing level crossing as "uniquely bad", as the boom gates are down for more than one-third of the time during the morning peak.
And if the level crossing were to remain this would only rise, as the government plans to introduce more train services, he said.
Cheltenham And Mentone Level Crossing Removals Are Go
12 March 2019
The Andrews Labor Government’s removal of three dangerous and congested level crossings in Cheltenham and Mentone will build two new stations and create new community spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today unveiled the final designs for level crossing removals at Park Road and Charman Road in Cheltenham, and Balcombe Road in Mentone, which hold up 38,000 vehicles every day.
With early works underway, major construction to lower the rail line into trenches and build two new stations will start by mid-2019 and will take around 18 months. In mid-2020 a two-month construction blitz will excavate the trenches, build the new rail line and remove all three crossings at once – minimising disruption for commuters.
The heritage-listed stations at Cheltenham and Mentone will be incorporated into the design of the new stations, and a third track will be built at Cheltenham station to allow for more trains more often on the Frankston line.
The project will include more than three kilometres of walking and cycling paths connecting the stations, better lighting and accessibility, landscaping, new open space, parking, and potential residential and retail development.
The five heritage-listed trees in the Mentone station gardens will be protected in their current location during construction and a major landscaping program will create a new ‘garden bridge’ across the rail trench near Balcombe Road, expanding the much-loved station garden.
The contract for the work has been awarded to the Lendlease, Acciona Coleman Rail, WSP and Metro Trains Melbourne alliance that has already removed the Seaford Road level crossing and is removing three crossings in Carrum.
This $536 million package of works are part of a massive $3 billion investment on the Frankston line which includes the removal of 18 level crossings, with five already removed, and building 11 new stations.
Minor works will begin in April, as major works are underway next year the line will close for up to two months.
Getting Rid Of Gippsland Highway Level Crossing
14 March 2019
The Andrews Labor Government is improving safety and the movement of vehicles in the manufacturing heart of Victoria by removing the level crossing on South Gippsland Highway in Dandenong and building a new intersection where it meets the Princes Highway.
This dangerous and congested level crossing impedes the flow of 31,000 cars and trucks each weekday, and was the site of four collisions and more than 40 near misses in the decade to 2015.
Nearby at the intersection of the South Gippsland Highway and the Princes Highway there were four incidents resulting in serious injury and one fatal incident during the past ten years.
About 40 per cent of Victoria’s manufacturing happens in Melbourne’s south east. It supports more than 92,000 local jobs and contributes $12 billion to the region’s economy.
With the boom gates down for a third of the two-hour morning peak, it is critical to improve the flow of traffic on the South Gippsland Highway, and on and off the Princes Highway.
The road bridge design will minimise closures of the Pakenham line during construction, and reduce impacts on manufacturers and the transport and freight industry – with other designs taking up to a year longer to construct.
The new intersection at the Princes Highway and the South Gippsland Highway will be safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, who will no longer merge into fast flowing traffic.
Removing the level crossing will allow more train services to run in the future and improve access to facilities and services either side of the rail line. The design features a new shared path that will benefit pedestrians and cyclists.
The project will create hundreds of jobs during construction as well as providing skills and opportunities to apprentices, trainees or cadets through the Major Projects Skills Guarantee.
The Andrews Labor Government is removing 75 level crossings by 2025, with 29 already gone for good. The South Gippsland Highway level crossing is one of 17 being removed on the Pakenham line.
Work to remove the South Gippsland Highway level crossing will start in 2020 and level crossing will be gone by 2022.
Image: Artist's impression of an aerial view of the road bridge design at South Gippsland Highway in Dandenong South.