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Work will begin on a sky rail track to replace the congested level crossing at Toorak Road in Kooyong within weeks, the state government has confirmed.
The announcement comes as the state government releases images of the new Upfield Line stations to be built in Coburg.
The Andrews government says the Kooyong project, to be completed by 2021, will untangle one of Melbourne’s most notorious road-rail traffic snarls, but it also puts the state on track for a fresh clash with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
How the Toorak Road level crossing fix will look when it is finished.
The idea of sky rail in Toorak, in the heart of the wealthy inner-south-east, has already raised the ire of some residents. Local council Stonnington has controversially handed $10,000 of ratepayers’ money to a group set up to protest against the rail bridge.
The Andrews’ government has hired a group of three companies to carry out the works and says it is keen to get started.
The government says the level crossing's boom gates are down for 35 per cent of the morning peak, causing a major bottleneck for drivers heading to the Monash Freeway and CityLink via Toorak, Glenferrie and Tooronga roads.
The Liberal state opposition attacked the government’s decision to build the rail bridge when it was announced in February, arguing it should be built underground.
Toorak Road rail crossing is set to be removed.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO
The project’s elevated design also issues a major challenge to Mr Frydenberg, who promised $260 million before last month’s federal election to remove a nearby level crossing at Glenferrie Road by sending the rail line underground.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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