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A TOWERING sky rail could loom over the streets of Brunswick and Coburg if an ambitious proposal prepared by Moreland Council for the Upfield line is accepted by the State Government.
The plans, which the council aims to discuss in a meeting with the Level Crossing Removal Authority, describe ways to scrap five crossings, including Bell St, Coburg and Moreland Rd, Brunswick, which are earmarked to be removed by the authority.
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Artists’ impressions show both sky rail and below-ground options, with the council choosing not to recommend either option but encourage residents to make their own decision.
A motion to introduce the plans was passed unanimously at last week’s council meeting, with North West Ward councillor Dale Martin urging people to use it to lobby the government.
“We’ve got level crossing removals happening all over our city and we want to maximise the bang for your buck,” Cr Martin said.
An artist’s impression of an elevated train over Coburg Station and Bell St, Coburg.South Ward councillor Lambros Tapinos said it was a “city-shaping project”.
“It’s not every day you get to be at the early stages of such change, this could do great things for Moreland,” he said.
Other crossings included in the report are Munro St, and pedestrian crossings at Carron and Audley streets, all in Coburg, and a major rebuild of Coburg Station that would feature retail options.
The current Bell St level crossing in Coburg. Picture: Hamish BlairWhile he could not give a timeline as to when the crossings would be removed, authority project director Michael Caink said both were still in the planning stage and “we’re looking at all options for each site”.
Figures on the authority’s website show boom gates can hold up traffic at Bell St for a quarter of the weekday morning commute, in which about 41,000 vehicles cross the tracks each day, while 16,000 motorists cross at Moreland Rd, with gates down for 25 minutes of the commute each day.
The crossing at Glenroy Rd, Glenroy will also be removed by the authority by 2022.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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