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AS GEOTECHNICAL investigations continue along the rail corridor of the Mernda rail project, one MP has questioned the design of the extension.
Following news that the State Government may build elevated rail up to four storeys above street level along the Cranbourne/Pakenham line, Northern Metropolitan Region state Liberal MP Craig Ondarchie questioned whether the same could happen on the Mernda rail extension.
“Daniel Andrews must rule out turning the unfunded Mernda rail extension into a ‘sky rail’, and ruining the amenity of the growth area,” Mr Ondarchie said.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the new Mernda rail line will run through an area that is far less developed than the south eastern suburbs.
“As a new rail line, rather than an existing line, there is not a necessity to remove or reconfigure existing infrastructure like level crossings,” Ms Allan said.
“It is unlikely that the Mernda rail extension will be built with continuous elevated track, as has been reported recently in relation to the Cranbourne/Pakenham Line.”
Ms Allan said there will be engineering and design challenges in some areas.
“Like how to build the new line through areas where there are existing roads, buildings and other infrastructure,” she said.
“The community will have a chance to provide feedback on the project design in the coming months,” she said.
Yan Yean state Labor MP Danielle Green inspected the geotechnical works last week.
A drilling rig is recording the soil and rock profiles at a number of locations along the corridor, providing the project team with detailed information about the ground conditions.
“I am excited … to see the geotechnical works taking place, showing great progress in this long overdue project the Government is delivering for Melbourne’s north,” Ms Green said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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