Major construction work has started to remove one of Victoria’s most dangerous level crossings at Buckley Street in Essendon.
The foundations and retaining walls for the new road underpass that will safely separate cars and trains will be built, and work on overhead wiring and underground utilities will also be completed.
To complete this work there will be a series of road closures and rail services will also be interrupted over the next few months.
The boom gates are currently down for around 78 minutes during the morning peak causing major delays on Buckley Street and surrounding roads for the 11,000 motorists who pass through it each day.
Lowering the road beneath the railway line is the best solution for local residents, traders, pedestrians and people who travel on the Craigieburn line.
Local streets and public places will be better connected and dedicated service roads will have slower moving traffic.
The solution will also improve connectivity between buses and trains and fewer drivers will avoid the level crossing by ‘rat running’ on local streets after works are complete.
Safety will be further improved through the construction of footpaths that will enable pedestrians, including students from local schools and cyclists, to get to and from Essendon Station without needing to navigate busy traffic on Buckley Street.
The boom gates at Buckley Street are set to be removed by late 2018.