This month saw 25 dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good – saving lives and making communities all over Melbourne safer.
Following an intensive construction blitz, the final four level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong are now gone for good with trains running on the final section of elevated rail. In addition to the crossing removals at Murrumbeena, Grange, Koornang and Poath roads, new stations are operational at Murrumbeena and Carnegie and Frankston.
Work will continue to complete the stations over coming months.
Further along the Cranbourne line, the level crossing at Thompsons Road in Lyndhurst was removed when the first section of a new road bridge opened at the end of the week.
Trains also began travelling over a new rail bridge at Skye/Overton Road in Frankston.
Along with getting Victorians moving, this massive pipeline of level crossing removals is creating thousands of local jobs, and providing skills and opportunities to hundreds of apprentices, trainees and cadets through the Major Projects Skills Guarantee.
More than 23 million hours have now been worked on the project – the equivalent of around 3400 jobs to people including engineers, signal operators and labourers – with major flow-on benefits for the local economy.
Workers have so far excavated more than 590,000 cubic metres of soil and rock, which is enough to fill 236 Olympic swimming pools, and installed more than 369 kilometres of rail signal cabling – enough to go nearly half way to Sydney.
The halfway mark of the level crossing removal program is also an important moment to remember those Victorians who have tragically lost their lives at level crossings, and a reminder of why it is so important to get rid of dangerous level crossings.
Over the decade to 2015, 20 people have lost their lives at the 50 dangerous level crossings the Government is removing, with 60 collisions and approximately 680 near-misses.
In addition to the 25 crossings removed this month, fourteen new stations will have opened with a further four level crossing removals under construction. Up to 28 level crossings will be gone by the end of the year.