Construction crews have been working around the clock to remove dangerous and congested level crossings in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert as part of a six-week winter construction blitz.
As part of the works, the Lilydale line will be lowered into a 1.3-kilometre rail trench and new community open spaces will be created above it. The project includes a new Union Station – replacing the existing Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations with a single, modern station.
The construction blitz started last week, including the arrival of four 350-tonne to 750-tonne cranes, which will lift giant bridge beams into place at each road to allow for the relocation of essential services in the rail corridor. The level crossings removals at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road were fast tracked and will now be gone for good in 2023.
Other works include piling along the rail corridor to form the wall of the trench ahead of excavation starting next year, while a mini tunnel boring machine has made its way beneath the rail corridor from Lorne Parade Reserve to Montrose Street to relocate a major water main.
To ensure these works can be carried out safely, buses are replacing trains on sections of the Lilydale line until the last service on Sunday 24 July.
Sections of Union Road are closed in both directions until Monday 15 August, and sections of Mont Albert Road are closed in both directions until Monday 25 July, before reopening with ongoing lane closures and overnight closures, and a further week-long closure in August.
Four level crossings on the Lilydale line are already gone for good, with planning underway to remove another three in addition to Surrey Hills and Mont Albert, making the Lilydale line level crossing free by 2025.
Meanwhile, trains are travelling through Glen Huntly again following major works to remove the Neerim Road and Glen Huntly Road level crossings. While works continue in the area, trains will stop at all stations along the Frankston Line until late August. Passengers are encouraged to allow for an additional 10 minutes in travel time.
Over in the west, another four level crossings are being removed, including at Fitzgerald Road, Ardeer and Robinsons Road, Deer Park.
The Fitzgerald Road level crossing will be removed ahead of schedule in July, with sections of Fitzgerald Road, Tilburn Road and Forrest Street in Ardeer closed to traffic from Friday 15 July to Tuesday 19 July while crews work to connect the new road bridge to the existing road.
To remove the Robinsons Road level crossing by September, Quinn Street, Deer Park is closed at the intersection of Robinsons Road until Monday 18 July, and Robinsons Road will be closed from Friday 2 September to Monday 12 September while works take place around the clock to finish the job.
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We are getting on with removing dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne, with 64 already gone for good and another 21 to go by 2025 – making travel safer and smoother.”
“We’re creating safer connections whether travelling by foot, car or train and we thank the local communities for their patience as we get on with delivering these vital works.”
Quote attributable to Member for Box Hill Paul Hamer
“Removing the Union and Mont Albert Road level crossings is essential to boost safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and make this dangerous road a thing of the past.”
Quote attributable to Member for Hawthorn John Kennedy
“As part of these works, we’re adding new community open space, connecting either side of the rail corridor at Union Road, building a new park at Montrose Street and revitalising the Lorne Parade Reserve with updated play equipment and new trees, shrubs and plants.”
Reviewed 10 July 2022