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Hundreds of metres of new elevated rail will be built through Melbourne's outer north when the South Morang line is extended to Mernda.
Five bridges will be built, including an 800-metre rail bridge over the planned Mernda town centre.
The eight-kilometre rail extension is due to open in 2019, with two new stations.
A potential third station at Hawkstowe Parade may be built also.
Jacinta Allan, the Minister for Public Transport, said the government had listened to the advice of experts in opting for a reference design that mostly favoured bridges over rail trenches.
Mernda rail will be built with no new level crossings.
Elevated rail designs to remove level crossings have been controversial for the government, most notably the so-called sky rail through the south-east.
Kevin Devlin, the Level Crossing Removal Authority chief, said a mixture of high groundwater levels and hard basalt rock made tunnelling difficult.
When asked if bridges were a cheaper option, Mr Devlin said: "It's a solution that delivers for the government's budget of $600 million."
The bridges will be five to six metres high.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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