As works to remove dangerous and congested level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston continue at pace, designs have been released for new open spaces being created under the elevated rail line.
The Preston Level Crossing Removal Project is removing the 4 level crossings by raising the Mernda line over the roads and will make room for almost 60,000 square metres – approximately 3 MCGs worth – of new open space.
The open space designs released today show landscaped areas with more than 700 trees and around 150,000 grasses, shrubs and groundcover plants, as well as 2 new playgrounds and a shared walking and cycling path to connect the new Preston and Bell stations.
The open space areas were designed in collaboration with the Preston Open Space Advisory panel, using feedback gained from the local community during consultation last year. Locals told us they wanted multi-use spaces, more native plants, active spaces, community areas and improved safety.
The designs feature plenty of multipurpose community spaces including an amphitheatre to the west of Bell Station, a barbecue area and casual seating.
New nature-based playgrounds encourage exploration and interaction for children of all ages. One playground will be located near Oakover Road and the other near Preston Oval. A fitness zone will also be located near Preston Oval with a range of exercise equipment.
Work is well underway on the Preston level crossing removals, with large concrete segments arriving on site this month that will form the elevated rail line.
The boom gates will be gone and new stations open by the end of 2022. The new open space will be ready for the community to enjoy in 2023.