Work on the level crossing removal project on the Upfield line has hit new heights with bridge beams being lifted into place over roads in Coburg and Brunswick.
A rare closure of Coburg’s Bell Street recently allowed work crews to install massive bridge beams over the road – one of the busiest roads in Melbourne’s north.
The bridge beams are a crucial part of the new 2.5 kilometres of elevated rail that will remove four dangerous and congested level crossings for good and include new stations at Coburg and Moreland.
The large concrete bridge beams are being installed over four roads in Melbourne’s north – at Bell Street, Munro Street and Reynard Street in Coburg, and Moreland Road in Brunswick, as part of a major construction blitz that runs until November.
The giant concrete bridge segments are known as L beams, with all 268 beams coming from manufacturers around Victoria. Each beam weighs around 110 tonnes and measures up to 32 metres in length. The viaduct that trains will travel in is made up of two of these L-beams, joined together to form a U-trough.
In an industry first for a project of this scale, the team is using two custom-built 90-tonne gantry cranes from the United States to help build the new rail line.
Alongside crawler cranes on site, these two cranes have helped lift more than 120 beams into place and, at peak construction, will be installing up to 14 massive bridge beams a day – getting the job done months faster than would otherwise be possible.
From mid November, trains will return to the Upfield line with all four level crossings gone for good. Crews will then continue to work on the new Coburg and Moreland stations which will open in December.