Summer Level Crossing Construction Blitz Begins

27 December 2016

Construction has kicked off to remove two more dangerous and congested level crossings in Melbourne’s east.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan visited Blackburn today to inspect work on the removal of the Blackburn and Heatherdale Road level crossings, which will ramp up this summer.

More than 800 staff will work around-the-clock for the next six weeks to excavate 80 Olympic swimming pools-worth of soil to lower the Belgrave/Lilydale line so trains can run safely under Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads for the first time.

These two level crossings are among Victoria’s worst. The boom gates are down for around an hour between 7:00am-9:00am –half the morning peak – causing frustration, distress and delay.

Removing them will reduce congestion for the more than 60,000 vehicles which use the crossings every day, and make both communities safer.

The project will also improve access to public transport by completely rebuilding Heatherdale Station and upgrading the Blackburn Station precinct.

To enable these works to happen safely, buses are scheduled to replace trains between Box Hill and Ringwood stations from 27 December 2016 to 5 February 2017. Blackburn and Heatherdale roads will also be closed at the level crossings during this time.

When trains and traffic return on 6 February, the level crossings will be gone and the upgraded stations will be open. Finishing works – including car parks and landscaping – will continue throughout 2017.

Three new pedestrian bridges will also be built during the summer construction blitz – at Purches Street, Mitcham, and Cottage Street and King Street/Oliver Avenue in Blackburn.

By the end of Summer, ten level crossings will be gone for good. Work is underway on a further 10 crossings, and six more removals will start next year. By the end of 2018, 37 level crossing removals will be either finished or underway.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“This summer we will remove two more dangerous and congested level crossings, rebuild another station and make our city safer.”

“We promised to remove the worst level crossings in Victoria and we’re not wasting a moment. We’ve removed eight crossings this year alone – more than were removed in the ten years before we came to office.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane

“I thank passengers for their patience while we get on with this vital work. It will be disruptive but the benefits will be immense – less congestion, safer streets and better public transport for passengers in Melbourne’s east.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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