Level crossing removal design unveiled for Werribee: Authority selects elevated solution for Mernda line through Preston

Level crossing removal design unveiled for Werribee: Authority selects elevated solution for Mernda line through Preston
Level crossing removal design unveiled for Werribee: Authority selects elevated solution for Mernda line through Preston

The juggernaut level crossing removal project in Melbourne rolls on with the Level Crossing Removal Authority unveiling new renders and video for the solution to remove the Cherry Street level crossing in Werribee.

A new road bridge will be constructed further up the line that links Tarneit Road directly to the Princes Highway through an irrigation existing reserve.  

Similar to the Aviation Road level crossing removal design response, now complete up the line at Aircraft station, the new bridge rises in parallel with the railway line on the northern side then crosses over the railway corridor then gently lowers down to the Princes Highway in the irrigation channel reserve next to the Wyndham City Council offices. 

Public consultation documents on the LXRA's website show a range of design responses were considered but ultimately ruled out.

Building a road bridge over the rail corridor at Cherry Street was ruled out because it would create a 9m high barrier right in the heart of Werribee. 

Raising the railway lines over the existing Cherry Street grade was ruled out because it would extend the construction period out to 2 years. "Three train tracks currently cross Cherry Street, and network plans suggest more train lines could be added in the future. All future tracks would need to be elevated, and property acquisition would be required," the report says.

The interstate railway line that runs through the Werribee line corridor has restrictions on disruption and like elevating it above the road corridor, lowering it under the rail corridor was ruled out.

A new road underpass through the irrigation channel alignment was also ruled out due to the need to move oil pipeline infrastructure.

The outer western region of Melbourne will see a significant amount of public transport investment on top of level crossing removal work.  Old Geelong Road at Hoppers Crossing and Werribee Street located to the west of Werribee station are two more locations with level crossing removal design investigations underway.

And as Urban.com.au highlighted last week, the region will benefit in some shape or form with the Western Rail Plan and Melbourne Airport Rail Link projects likely to dramatically increase capacity to a region that has many drivers of growth

Not to be out-done by the west, four level crossing removal designs in Melbourne's north were announced today

The Premier and Minister for Transport Infrastructure were in Preston to announce the Level Crossing Removal Authority will remove four level crossings on the Mernda line in one fell swoop by building a 2km-long rail bridge.

Bell and Preston stations will be rebuilt and the level crossings to go are Bell Street, Cramer Street, Murray Road and Oakover Road.

The S bend starting just north of Bell Street between Bell and Preston stations will be straightened, increasing speeds and therefore train throughput.  The State Government has conceded it will require property acquisition adjacent to the railway corridor and residents were informed prior to the media conference on site today.

Preston has long been a centre with an increasing amount of medium and high-density projects in the pipeline.  26 new apartment projects for Preston currently exist on the Urban.com.au database with the total pipeline bulking out to 48 apartment and townhouse projects.

Similar to the Caulfield-Dandenong corridor and the Upfield corridor between Coburg and Moreland stations, an elevated rail line will create new open/green space once the level crossing removal is complete. Another round of consultation will open up to enable the Preston community to have their say on how the authority will develop their new open space.

Lead image credit: levelcrossings.vic.gov.au

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.

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Level Crossing Removal

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