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A MAMMOTH sky rail track beam overshadowing Grange Rd in Caulfield East has been erected, leaving fed-up residents itching to sell.
Construction in the area has been ongoing for almost two years for the $1.6 billion project , designed to remove nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
The track beam across Grange Rd, near Dandenong Rd, was the latest to be put up last week.
Carnegie mum Michelle Bennett lives in Girdwood Ave and is wanting to sell up once construction finishes at the end of this year.
She said the sky rail had turned her once tree-lined street into a mile-high concrete jungle.
Despite living at the highest point of the rail — up to 18 metres high — she missed out on the voluntary buyback scheme as her home was not directly on the rail corridor.
But she said her house was closer than many that were bought up.
“Under the current plans for landscaping, they’re not even planting any trees on our side — we just get some feature rocks,” Ms Bennett said.
“There’s not one redeeming feature of this project and we’re unsure of what to do next.”
Caulfield East’s Elizabeth Sabatini said “life as we know it is over”.
“If you don’t live here in Caulfield East or Carnegie you will never understand,” she said.
But one fellow resident said he was reserving his judgment until the project was completed, and the trees had been planted.
“So many times, I have seen people fearing and objecting to a development only to find that in fact parking and traffic was not affected, and the concerns of the residents actually we not warranted,” Peter said.
“The sky rail is here to stay, no point worrying over what ifs.”
To placate nearby residents, up to 350 eligible properties will be sent letters and offered new fences and shrubs in an attempt to give them privacy.
Premier Daniel Andrews said last year that the project would create “11 MCGs” of new open space below new tracks.
But opposition planning spokesman David Davis said people gasped when they saw the monstrous size of the structure millimetres from people’s properties.
“The full size and impact has yet to be seen. It will be visible kilometres away, a noisy, ugly blight on southeastern suburbs,” Mr Davis said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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