We’re celebrating a major milestone with Melbourne’s 50th dangerous and congested level crossing officially declared gone for good at Bondi Road, Bonbeach – along with the removal of 4 more level crossings at Chelsea and Edithvale – bringing our removal count to 54.
The golden milestone was reached one year ahead of schedule, with a total of 85 level crossings set to go across Melbourne by 2025 to improve safety, reduce congestion and create capacity for more trains, more often.
It follows the level crossing removals at Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale on Friday 19 November, with 2 new stations open at Lilydale and Mooroolbark.
Every one of our projects is an opportunity to do more. Since 2015 we have built 31 new train stations, created nearly 14 MCGs worth of new open space, planted more than 1.9 million new plants, shrubs and trees and delivered a whopping 40km of shared user paths.
Trains resumed along the full length of the Frankston Line on Monday 22 November, and the new Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach stations opened after 10 weeks of major works.
Our 2000 strong workforce got rid of 5 level crossings – including Melbourne’s 50th – by lowering the Frankston Line under the local road network and into 3 rail trenches, each around 1km long and up to 7m deep.
We also built 4 new road bridges over the trenches at Edithvale Road, Edithvale; Argyle Avenue, Chelsea; Bondi Road, Bonbeach, and the new east-west link across the rail corridor at Thames Promenade, Chelsea.
To thank the community for its understanding and patience during our works, our team were up bright and early to celebrate at the stations and local shops, with surprises and music to mark the milestone removals.
While the new stations are open, crews will remain in the area until mid 2022 completing car parking, planting and landscaping works around the stations including more than 800 trees and 85,000 shrubs, groundcovers and grasses to enhance the area’s coastal look and feel.
We'll also install walking and cycling paths to create more than 11km of continuous shared user path from Edithvale to Frankston.
These level crossing removals were vital as the boom gates at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach had previously been down for up to 40% of the morning peak, causing delays for commuters including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
More than 40,000 commuters use the Frankston Line every day and current network plans to increase the number of trains running on the Frankston Line meant the boom gates would be down for even longer without the removals.
On behalf of the Victorian Government, the Level Crossing Removal Project is removing 20 dangerous and congested level crossings and building 13 new stations by 2025 as part of a $3 billion upgrade of the Frankston Line.
So far, we have removed level crossings in Ormond, McKinnon, Bentleigh, Cheltenham, Mentone, Edithvale, Chelsea, Bonbeach, Carrum, Seaford and Frankston. We are not stopping yet with another 4 level crossings to go at Glen Huntly, Mentone and Parkdale by 2025.