Level Crossing Removals steaming through Spring school holidays

A few weeks ago the Road and Public Transport ministers announced another construction blitz for the Spring School holiday period with many disruptions to both public transport and freeway networks foreshadowed.

Most of the disruptions on the rail network are due to works occurring on the multiple level crossing removal sites around the metro area.  Like last time, if you are one who likes losing yourself in construction photos, I highly recommend following the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) on Facebook - the images below are a mere fraction of those that can be found on their own page.

Here's some highlights (links go directly to the LXRA albums for all the specific sites).

CD9 - 'Caulfield-Dandenong 9' - the 9 level crossings being removed between Caulfield and Dandenong is naturally a big focus at this stage with many of the columns that popped up earlier in the year now set to host the horizontal rail decks (lead image above).

Skye/Overton Road, image - LXRA

Skye/Overton Roads in Frankston is seeing its early works package kick off with a recent shutdown resulting in underground service relocations, further investigative works and the installation of construction fencing according to the LXRA.

Skye/Overton Road will be grade separated by sending the rail line over the current road level.  See renders here.

The LXRA is the body responsible for the Mernda Rail extension from South Morang along the original Whittlesea railway line.  

A new cutting for the eastern side of South Morang station, image - LXRA

As seen above, a new cutting is being carved out on the eastern side of the current terminus at South Morang.  

The station at Mernda which will be the new terminus will be elevated and the major works on the station have advanced.

Mernda major works have kicked off, image - LXRA

The Noble Park section of the CD9 set of level crossing removals hit a new milestone with the first spans lifted into place above Chandler Road.

Spans lifted into place over Chandler Road in Noble Park

Melton Highway out near Watergardens Station will see the road elevated above the existing rail grade and built in two stages - the first (southern) span will complete and then start diverting traffic away from the level crossings whilst the second stage will see the northern span built - eventually eastbound traffic will shift to the northern span, leaving the southern span for westbound road traffic.

The southern (westbound) span is well under construction.

Melton Highway bridge over Sunbury/Bendigo line, image - LXRA

The Kororoit Creek Road level crossing removal will see the rail line elevated above the existing the rail grade and also build some more rail track redundancy into the Altona Loop. 

The Altona Loop is a single track however the Kororoit Creek Road removal will start the process of adding a second track with the new rail bridge and Werribee Line junction.  Works have kicked off.

Prep work at Kororoit Creek Road, image - LXRA

The consultation sessions for Buckley Street in Essendon have been ongoing for some time now and we're likely to see the design of the proposed Reservoir level crossing removal soon - one that is going to be pique the interest of both locals and transport watchers alike, given the extraordinary road network complexity in the area.

The other inner-middle northern crossings that have been announced but their designs not made publicly available at Bell Street in both Coburg and Thornbury, Moreland Road in Coburg and Glenroy Road in Glenroy are also of great interest as they are some of the last inner-to-middle-ring level crossings in the original list of 50 yet to be unveiled.

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