Bell Street in Preston is a major east-west arterial road which runs from Heidelberg in the east to the Tullamarine Freeway in the west. Bell Street is also intersected by several key north-south arterial roads including Plenty Road, St Georges Road and High Street in the Preston area.

Overview

The level crossing is located on Bell Street, between St Georges Road and High Street. On a typical weekday the road carries 52,000 vehicles, many of which use this road during the morning peak between 7:00am and 9:00am. During this time, the boom gates are down for approximately 27 minutes, significantly impacting travel times for thousands of motorists and causing frustration for all road users.

Project development 

Planning is underway for the removal of the Bell Street level crossing, with community consultation having started in mid 2016 and continuing into 2017. This will help inform the design for removing the level crossing. During this stage the project team will also be undertaking planning and technical investigations to help us with the development of options at this location.

Project lifecycle

Project stage

Commencing

What's involved

Planning

Early to mid 2016

  • Site investigations
  • Identification of options
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community consultation

Options development (current stage)

Late 2016 to mid-2017

  • Community consultation
  • Assessment of design options
  • Presentation of feasible options
  • Recommended design option announced

Procurement

2017

  • Project is put to tender
  • Evaluation of tenders

Delivery

2018

  • Contract to design and construct is awarded
  • Community consultation
  • Works commencing

Community

Community drop in sessions

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback on what is important to them in their community in October 2016. The feedback period for this phase has closed. We're currently analysing the feedback and developing design options for the level crossing removal that best meets the needs of your community.

We appreciate those who came along to one of our four community drop-in sessions at the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre and Reservoir RSL. It was great that so many of you could join the conversation. If you missed the drop-in sessions, we talked with the community about what was important to them about the removal of the Bell Street, Preston level crossing. If you have any questions, please get in touch by email at contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 762 667 (24 hours 7 days).

Community engagement hub

Thank you to everyone who added a comment to the map on our community engagement hub. The map and survey is now closed to new comments for this phase but you can still view the posts.

Project updates

Sign up for project updates

There will be a number of opportunities to get involved and provide feedback as the project progresses. Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be provided project information via website updates, regular bulletins and letterbox drops, local newspaper advertising, onsite information boards and community information displays.

We will be back out in your community early – mid 2017 to present and consult on the feasible design options.

FAQs

When will the Bell Street level crossing be removed?

Works are planned to commence in 2018 and expected to take 18 months to two years to complete.

What will be done before construction starts?

Planning and technical investigation works got underway in 2016 and will continue into 2017. These works include:

  • Geotechnical investigations to learn about the ground conditions.
  • Site surveys, including feature surveys and environmental surveys.
  • Traffic studies.
  • Determining where the existing service utilities are located.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Community updates.
  • Development of design options.

When will design commence?

Design work started in mid-2016 and feedback from community consultation will be used to inform the development of the design.

Have you decided on the design for the level crossing removal at Bell Street?

No. There are several design options when removing a level crossing to separate the road and railway line. These options include building a railway bridge over the road, lowering the railway line under the road, lowering the road under the railway line or a road bridge over the railway line.

We will investigate several options before a recommended design is determined. Before then, considerations will include community feedback, constructability, cost, technical constraints, impacts to rail operations and road traffic and development opportunites.

When will you consult with the community regarding this project?

We started consulting with the community in mid 2016, and the community will have a number opportunities to have their say on the project through the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.

Please visit this website regularly for updates about how and when to have your say.