Victoria’s biggest ever level crossing removal construction blitz has finished two weeks ahead of schedule, with trains running on the new Upfield elevated rail line from today and vehicles no longer delayed by boom gates with four more dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today visited the new elevated rail at Moreland where 1000 workers have worked around the clock since late July to get the project completed with strict health and safety measures in place.
Commuters can expect a less congested journey at level crossing-free Munro Street, Reynard Street and Moreland Road, with Bell Street to open this Wednesday – and a 2.5-kilometre elevated rail bridge spanning the four roads.
Getting rid of these four level crossings – including the notorious Bell Street crossing, used by around 41,000 drivers per day – will improve safety, reduce congestion, slash travel times and free up traffic on one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads.
The project is also building two new stations at Coburg and Moreland, which will open to passengers in mid-December. As work continues to complete the platforms, station buildings and customer facilities, Upfield line trains will run express through Coburg and Moreland with replacement buses and trams in place.
The new rail bridge is made up of 268 massive beams - known as L-beams - from manufacturers around Victoria. Each beam weighs around 110 tonnes and measures up to 32 metres in length.
Work will continue into next year to create more than two MCGs worth of community open space underneath the rail line, featuring around 3,000 trees and shrubs, along with thousands more seedlings and native grass.
In the north, work will soon be ramping up in Glenroy and Preston, where five more level crossings are being removed by the end of 2022, including at Bell Street in Preston – making Bell Street completely level crossing free.
For more information about these projects visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’ve made great progress over the past five years and we're not slowing down. We’ve removed 43 level crossings and built 28 new train stations – delivering better connections, supporting thousands of jobs.”
“One dangerous set of boom gates on Bell Street is now gone for good – and we’re now getting rid of its neighbour in Preston, with this notorious arterial road to be totally level crossing-free by 2022.”
Quote attributable to Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn
“The construction team has done a great job over the past months – speeding along on construction despite restrictions and safety measures. Thank you to the community for their patience while works have been underway.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Sheena Watt
“Now that trains have returned to the Upfield line, we’re getting ready for the new Moreland and Coburg stations to open next month, and the open space to be landscaped for our community to enjoy.”
Reviewed 02 November 2020