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The removal of the dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road in Mont Albert in Victoria is powering ahead. A contract will be awarded, enhanced designs with more open space unveiled and early works will start soon.
The premium station will provide more trains, more often for commuters from Surrey Hills, Mont Albert and surrounds, and will be staffed from the first train in the morning until the last train in the evening.
“Awarding a contract takes us one step closer to making these death traps a thing of the past and we’re thrilled this project has been fast-tracked, creating hundreds of jobs and supporting local businesses along the way,” minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said.
“With no more level crossings on the Lilydale line, journeys will be faster, local roads safer and deadly boom gate delays a distant memory.”
The contract has been awarded to Laing O’Rourke, Jacobs, Metro Trains Melbourne, in partnership with the Level Crossing Removal Project. It will see the project fast-tracked – with the two dangerous and congested level crossings removed and the new premium station open in 2023, two years ahead of schedule.
Early works will start this month, including upgrading water infrastructure, moving underground services and setting up site offices, with crews on the ground in the coming days. Major construction will start next year.
The two level crossings are some of Melbourne’s worst and will be removed by lowering the rail line beneath the roads in an open trench and building a new premium station with better facilities and more services.
With two fatalities at Union Road in 2016 when a train and car collided – and a further eight near misses in recent years – the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert communities will be safer when the boom gates are removed.
Following extensive community feedback, the designs for the new premium station and precinct now include a wider pedestrian bridge that will form a plaza connecting Beresford Street and the Hamilton Street shopping village. This will create more open space and a home for the existing Mont Albert station building, which will be retained for community use close to its current location.
“Many Mont Albert residents have been calling for a plaza at the top end of Hamilton Street to provide a home for the existing, heritage-listed Mont Albert station building and new community open space – and I’m pleased the design to remove these crossings also delivers that,” member for Box Hill Paul Hamer said.
The project will also include a new entrance at Montrose Street, providing better local access to the station and new open space with landscaping, as well as improved ramps with increased accessibility and fewer stairs.
The Victorian state government announced 10 more level crossings will go across Melbourne, including another three on the Lilydale Line at Dublin Road in Ringwood East, Coolstore Road in Croydon and the closure of Cave Hill Road in Lilydale. This will create a level crossing-free Lilydale line that will change how locals live, work and travel.
To view the latest designs and find out more about the early works, visit levelcrosssings.vic.gov.au.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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