More than 300 children and their parents let their inner construction worker run wild these school holidays, at the Level Crossing Removal Project’s Western Building Blocks sessions in Ardeer.
The free interactive sessions gave children aged 3 to 7 the opportunity to build their own road and rail bridge and underpass using large scale building blocks, replicating local projects at Robinsons Road, Fitzgerald Road and Mt Derrimut Road.
Bani Sweta, attended with Ayush (9) and Akarsh (4) and said her children enjoyed playing with the blocks, the activity books, and were very excited to see the trains.
“They learned all about construction and it was good timing in the school holidays. We really loved it, and we spent more than the time scheduled,” Bani said.
The removal of the Werribee and Cherry Street level crossing removals have made a real difference to her family’s commute.
“Before...when I was driving (it felt like) I was going to crash, there was a roundabout and a railway crossing, both together. It was very confusing, but now it’s good.”
Cecilia Burton said the session gave Alex (5) and Victoria (7) a chance to play and develop their fine motor skills.
“It was a beautiful opportunity for the kids, because they see the construction workers on the road, and they really want to feel they can do it, it’s an opportunity for them to practice their skills,” Cecilia said.
“It was great to have staff here to come and help them, not just go by themselves, but someone to guide them and show them what to do.”
Children at the sessions also planted seeds in their own rock planters to take home and watch grow, dressed up in construction gear and worked through activity books focused on engineering, the environment and safety.
The Western Building Blocks workshops in Ardeer ran from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July.
The Fitzgerald Road level crossing in Ardeer was removed in July, while the Robinsons Road level crossing will be removed in September, both months ahead of schedule.
The level crossing at Mt Derrimut Road will be removed by building a new rail bridge over the road as well as a new Deer Park Station.
When all 3 level crossings are gone for good by 2024, the Geelong and Ballarat lines will be level crossing free between Deer Park and the city.