The longest rail line closure in Melbourne since the construction of the City Loop is about to begin.
Over the next 37 days, 1,000 construction workers working 24 hours a day will excavate more than 250,000 cubic metres of soil and rock – enough to fill the MCG – to remove the dangerous and congested level crossings at Centre, McKinnon and North Roads in Melbourne’s South East.
These crossings are among Victoria’s worst, with boom gates down for up to 48 minutes in the morning peak. Getting rid of them will reduce road congestion, improve public transport and make these communities safer.
To help these works happen safely and efficiently, the Frankston line will be closed between Caulfield and Moorabbin until the end of July. Thousands of bus services will replace trains to get people where they need to go.
North, McKinnon and Centre Roads will remain open to traffic during this time, aside from some lane closures on North Road and a weekend closure at McKinnon Road. Centre will close tonight, reopen on Saturday during the day, and be closed overnight until Monday morning.
Trains will return at the start of August and the new stations will be progressively opened to passengers over the month. Landscaping and carpark construction will continue until the end of the year.
Four other level crossing removals will also ramp up in July, at Blackburn Road in Blackburn, Heatherdale Road in Mitcham, and Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater.
These works will close sections of the Belgrave/Lilydale line between 2-10 July, and will prepare the crossings for major construction campaigns at the end of the year.
As trains on the Stony Point line will be unable to access Southern Cross for maintenance while the line is closed, buses will also replace trains on the Stony Point line from tonight until 31 July.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan
“These crossings hold locals and drivers hostage for more than 45 minutes in the morning peak – they’re dangerous, they’re congested and the massive construction blitz to get rid of them starts tonight.”
“This is the longest rail line closure since we built the City Loop. It will be disruptive, but it will be worth it because it lets us remove these dangerous and congested crossings once and for all.”
“No more talking, no more excuses – we’re getting rid of these crossings and we’re building three brand new train stations to make it quicker, safer and easier to catch the train.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos
“Bentleigh residents and businesses have lived with these congested death-traps for too long. We promised to get rid of them – and we’re getting it done”