12 December 2016
A six-week construction blitz will kick off after Christmas to remove two dangerous level crossings at Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads in Melbourne's east.
Level Crossing Removal Authority CEO Kevin Devlin said the removal of these level crossings will mean ten level crossings have been removed in the past 12 months – more than in the previous decade.
"We've recently removed level crossings on the Frankston and Sunbury lines – now it's the Belgrave/Lilydale line's turn, with these crossings to be gone by the end of summer," Mr Devlin said.
"Our team will be working around the clock to lower the rail line under both Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads, continue work on the new Heatherdale Station, and start work on the Blackburn Station precinct."
Over the summer period:
- More than 80 Olympic swimming pools worth of soil and rock will be excavated to lower the rail line under both Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads
- New tracks will be laid, along with signalling and overhead wires
- Work on the new Heatherdale Station will continue, and the upgrade of Blackburn will begin
- Two new pedestrian bridges will be built over the rail line at Cottage Street in Blackburn and Purches Street in Mitcham.
To get this huge amount of work done, buses will replace trains from 27 December to 5 February – a week longer than originally planned.
"We've reviewed our summer program and will need a few extra days to get the work done," Mr Devlin said.
"We've completed a number of construction campaigns now. We've learned from these and re-assessed our schedule to ensure the works can be completed safely and efficiently, especially in the hot summer months."
When the rail line reopens on 6 February, trains will begin running under Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads for the first time, and the brand new Heatherdale Station will open.
Works will continue around both the Heatherdale and Blackburn station precincts to complete landscaping, station facilities and car parks. The project is on track for full completion by mid-2017.