Removing Level Crossings And Creating New, Green Open Space

The Andrews Labor Government will create 2.5 kilometres of parkland and open space in Melbourne’s north as it gets on with removing four dangerous and congested level crossings on the Upfield line.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan joined Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn today to reveal designs for the rail bridge that will remove every level crossing between Bell Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick.

On top of reducing congestion and improving safety, the designs will create a green, open area almost twice the size of the MCG for locals to come together, exercise and enjoy.

The project will deliver a bigger and better Moreland Station precinct and will feature barbecue facilities, a nature playground, extensive planting and landscaped gardens.

A dog park, playgrounds, and public art space are among some of the ideas also being considered for the 2.5 kilometres of new open space. Three times as many trees will also be planted as part of the project. Improvements to the Upfield Bike Path will see locals enjoy a safer and more attractive journey with separate pedestrian and cycling paths on either side of the open space.

The rail bridge will begin rising near Tinning Street in Brunswick and return to ground level south of O’Hea Street in Coburg. The bridge height will vary, the highest point being about 11 metres above ground level.

A Voluntary Purchase Scheme will be offered to homes most impacted. The project team will be in touch with eligible residential property owners about next steps. The project will retain and preserve the existing heritage listed Moreland and Coburg station buildings, while building new, modern elevated stations.

The artist impressions reflect feedback collected in May and June from 300 survey responses, and hundreds of comments from drop-in sessions, which were attended by more than 250 people. The local community will be invited to help refine the open space design over the coming weeks.

Both the station buildings at Moreland and Coburg are already listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. They will be retained in their current position and integrated into the new station precincts.

An interim Heritage Protection order is in place on some places and objects within the railway corridor to ensure we get the permits we need to remove these level crossings as quickly as possible.

We are taking this action because the Liberal Party has repeatedly tried to use Heritage laws to prevent and delay our massive transport infrastructure projects, including the Metro Tunnel and the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Project.

Construction is planned to start later this year and the level crossings will be gone for good in 2020, with the open spaces ready for locals to enjoy in 2021. For more information visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“We promised to slash congestion and make these communities safer by removing these level crossings – we’re doing that, and creating kilometres of new parklands and open space at the same time.”

“These designs are the product of extensive community consultation and will not only remove these four dangerous level crossings – they’ll create new parks, paths and gardens in the heart of Coburg and Brunswick.”

Quote attributable to Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn

“I thank everyone for their feedback and contribution to the project. The community said they wanted these level crossings gone, better walking and cycling connections, and more open space – that’s what we’re delivering.”