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A massive spring construction blitz will shut down railway lines and create delays on major roads as work crews take advantage of limited movement around Melbourne.
Among the new projects will be a two-week closure of the Sunbury line to prepare it for new high-capacity trains and the shutting of an inbound ramp to the West Gate Freeway until early October.
Spring is one of the state’s busiest periods for construction work, with school holidays and stage four coronavirus restrictions providing more opportunities to push ahead with upgrades.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said continuing with the construction blitz would help support the state’s economy.
“These critical projects are building a better transport system,” she said. “The safety of our workforce and the community is our priority.
“We are taking strict precautions to ensure our critical transport infrastructure projects can safely continue under coronavirus restrictions.”
Work crews will be spread across 15 level crossing projects over this period, including the removal of four crossings along the Upfield line, which will put commuters on replacement buses north of Anstey Station for three months.
Level Crossing Removal Works are set to continueThe massive removal project, the biggest of its kind so far in Victoria, will include the constructions of two new stations and free up traffic delays for the 40,000 drivers a day who cross tracks on Bell Street.
Authorities will also shut down the Sunbury line from November 7-23 as the tracks are upgraded to handle new high-capacity trains.
The bigger trains, currently being tested across the metropolitan network, can carry 1100 passengers and will run through the Metro Tunnel when completed. All four tunnel-boring machines are currently at work digging new 9km rail tunnels under Melbourne between Kensington and South Yarra.
Further replacement bus services will run between Mordialloc and Frankston and between Cranbourne and Dandenong for a week at a time in September as more upgrades are rolled out.
Construction sites for critical transport projects across Melbourne have been given exemptions to continue with limited staff numbers during current restrictions.
Major road disruptions include the closure of the Millers Road inbound ramp on to the West Gate Freeway as crews expand the corridor from eight to 12 lanes.
Another section of Millers Road in Altona North will be shut throughout September.
The long-awaited second part of the Monash Freeway Upgrade will ramp up in September as smart signs are installed over lanes.
Early works on North East Link will begin moving a 2.5km gas main to pave the way for the $15.8bn project.
Tram routes through Malvern, South Melbourne, Parkville and Pascoe Vale South will also be upgraded.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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