$542.4 million contract signed for level crossing removals in Melbourne's north

$542.4 million contract signed for level crossing removals in Melbourne's north
$542.4 million contract signed for level crossing removals in Melbourne's north

The Victorian State Government has awarded the contract, valued at $542.4 million, to an alliance of John Holland Group, Kellogg Brown & Root and Metro Trains Melbourne to remove four level crossings and rebuild two stations on the Upfield railway line in Melbourne's north.

Renders and the overall design for the upgrade to the railway corridor were released in August and both stations to be rebuilt will be elevated above the current rail grade.  Similar to the Caulfield-Dandenong corridor, with the elevate of the railway lines, community spaces will be provided underneath the tracks.

Bell Street, Munro Street, Reynard Street and Moreland Road are the four level crossings that will be removed.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, is reported to have said to the Herald Sun the corridor is one of the narrowest in Melbourne and will require an extended occupation period.

Further investigative works and service relocations are scheduled to ramp up in the short term with major works beginning next year that will include a construction blitz that will shut down the rail corridor for three months.

As part of the community space improvements, the congested Upfield bike path will see an upgrade as well as a new pedestrian path added underneath the railway line.

The alliance that has been awarded the contract is also removing the High Street level crossing in Reservoir.  Like the soon-to-be-rebuilt Moreland and Coburg stations, Reservoir station will be elevated above the existing road level.

2.4 million contract signed for level crossing removals in Melbourne's north
The new Reservoir station currently under construction. Image: Level Crossing Removal Authority

The inner-north region of Melbourne, predominantly centred on the City of Moreland is also home to the highest number of bicycle commuters thanks to the extensive off-road and on-road bike lanes leading to the adjacent City of Melbourne.

Coburg and Brunswick are two of Melbourne's redevelopment hotspots with both suburbs registering over 100 apartment and townhouse projects in the pipeline. Coburg is registering 38 new projects on Urban.com.au's database, Brunswick has 76.  

If you expand the search parameters to include to both Brunswick East and Brunswick West, the total number for all three 'Brunswicks' expands to 143 apartment and townhouse projects in the pipeline.

2.4 million contract signed for level crossing removals in Melbourne's north
519-537 Sydney Road, Coburg.

In the long run, the Upfield corridor is likely to see other infrastructure changes that are linked to future railway projects in the area.

Namely, the Suburban Rail Loop's second phase will see a station interface with the Upfield line to the north of Coburg and also plans leaked to the media prior to the November 2018 state election show the Upfield line extending to Wallan via Roxburgh Park.

Bell Street, Munro Street, Reynard Street and Moreland Road level crossings are all set to be removed by late 2020 and the new open space will be ready in 2021.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

Tags: 
Coburg Level Crossing Removal

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