More progress at Preston
07 Jan 2021
Crews are gearing up to start major construction work this year on the removal of four level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston with a construction contract valued at over half a billion dollars awarded recently.
The project will benefit more than 82,000 motorists who pass through these level crossings on the Mernda line each day, with the boom gates down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak. It will also see Bell Street, one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads, become level crossing free.
In Preston, the rail line will be raised over the four roads on the Mernda line - removing level crossings, delivering new open space under the two-kilometre rail bridge and creating better east-west connections for the community.
The $564 million contract will generate over 1000 local full-time jobs during peak construction, as premium modern stations at Bell and Preston are built, rejuvenating the area to provide safer and more direct connections between public transport, local shops and parking.
Early works at Preston kicked off last year with site sheds and fencing set up, and crews beginning to install rail power and communication systems underground near the rail line. These works will continue in early 2021.
Throughout construction, disruptions to train services on the Mernda line will be minimal with the rail line not closing for more than 12 consecutive days at a time. This will allow trains access to the Epping train maintenance facility on the line.
The contract has been awarded to an alliance of John Holland Group, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) and the Level Crossing Removal Project – the group recently removed four nearby level crossings and built new stations at Moreland and Coburg.
The Preston level crossings will be removed by the end of 2022 and the open space under the elevated rail line will be ready for locals to enjoy in 2023.