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The Andrews Labor Government will smash its election commitment to remove 20 level crossings in its first term, with 25 set to go by the end of the month.
With six level crossings to be removed by the end of the month, and three new stations open for passengers from tomorrow, it confirms work is well ahead of schedule to remove 50 crossings by 2022.
Following a construction blitz, the final four level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong will be gone for good tomorrow with trains running on the final section of elevated rail. This brings the total number of level crossings removed to 23 – with 25 on track to go by the end of the month.
In addition to the crossing removals at Murrumbeena, Grange, Koornang and Poath roads, new stations will be operational at Murrumbeena and Carnegie. Work will continue to complete the stations over coming months.
Further along the Cranbourne line, the level crossing at Thompsons Road in Lyndhurst will be removed when the first section of a new road bridge opens at the end of the week.
On the Frankston line, passengers will be able to board trains at the new Frankston Station from tomorrow. Trains will also begin travelling over a new rail bridge at Skye/Overton Road in Frankston, safely separating trains and cars with Skye/Overton Road set to reopen to traffic before the end of the month.
This massive pipeline of work is not only getting Victorians home safer and sooner but creating thousands of local jobs, and providing skills and opportunities to hundreds of apprentices, trainees and cadets through the Major Projects Skills Guarantee.
More than 23 million hours have now been worked on the project – the equivalent of around 3,400 jobs to people including engineers, signal operators and labourers – with major flow-on benefits for the local economy.
Workers have excavated more than 590,000 cubic metres of soil and rock, enough to fill 236 Olympic swimming pools, and installed more than 369 kilometres of rail signal cabling – enough to go nearly half way to Sydney.
Over the decade to 2015, 20 people have lost their lives at the 50 dangerous level crossings the Government is removing, with 60 collisions and around 680 near-misses.
In addition to the 25 crossings removed this week, 14 new stations will have opened with a further five level crossing removals under construction. Up to 28 level crossings will be gone by the end of the year.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We promised we’d remove 20 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings and that’s exactly what we’ve done – and we won’t stop getting rid of these relics of the past.”
“Too many Victorians have lost their lives at level crossings – today we remember them and their loved ones as we make real change that will save lives in the future.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“No government has ever removed this many level crossings, this quickly. As we reach the half way point of the project, we celebrate the significant progress we’ve made but recognise there is still plenty more to do.”
“With every level crossing gone on this line, we’ve paved the way for more trains, more often to get Victorians home safer and sooner.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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