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Buckley Street community update - September 2018

27 Sep 2018

We’re removing the dangerous and congested level crossing at Buckley Street, Essendon, by building a road underpass beneath the railway line, creating better traffic flow and a safer community.

Work update

With Buckley Street closed during August and September, the project team was able to work around the clock to achieve some massive milestones:

  • boom gates removed
  • road and rail bridge decks poured
  • service roads completed
  • Russell Street central underpass entrance opened
  • Buckley Street road underpass excavated up to the rail bridge.

In September, the team has excavated under the rail and put the finishing touches on the road underpass. This included asphalting, installing lights and gutters. By the end of the month, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists using Buckley Street will no longer need to wait at a level crossing.

By the end of September the project team will have:

  • excavated over 20,000 tonnes of soil to create the new road underpass
  • poured 7,000 tonnes of asphalt
  • worked over 52,000 hours.

Thank you

The final major disruption for Craigieburn rail line finished on 10 September. During this time, we moved almost 240,000 passengers. At the end of the month, Buckley Street will also reopen to traffic after 52 days.

We understand that this work can be disruptive, and we want to thank everyone for their patience while we work to remove the level crossing by the end of September.

You’re invited to a special sneak peek walk-through of the road underpass.

On Thursday 27 September from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, you’re welcome to walk through the new Buckley Street road underpass and service road leading to Rose Street, before the underpass officially opens to traffic.

Quick guide: Building the road underpass

Building the road underpass was a complicated and challenging task which involved a number of carefully planned stages.

Firstly, the bridge deck over the top of the underpass had to be built, which involved removing the railway track, sleepers and ballast. Once this was built, it had to cure for several days before excavators could dig underneath and put the drainage system under the road.

Following this, the road barriers and architectural panels along the road underpass were installed. A box culvert for electrical equipment for the trains was then constructed, before the lighting along the road and underneath the bridge was installed. The final steps were asphalting and line marking - and the new underpass is ready for traffic.

Meet Wiko, our crossing supervisor

If you’re local to the area, you’ll recognise Wiko.

Wiko is the crossing supervisor on Rose Street, helping the hundreds of students heading to and from school every day.

Always there to meet you with a friendly greeting, Wiko prides himself on keeping the local community safe when crossing the road, and loves being able to make new friends.

When the LXRA began work in Essendon, Wiko visited the team at the Info Hub and asked to be part of it since he’d been the crossing supervisor prior to construction. We gladly accepted!

When asked how he copes being outside in the Melbourne winter, there was a big smile.

‘I love the cold,’ he laughs.

‘Although I do have to watch people more carefully when it rains. But I think the project is going to make it safer for pedestrians when it’s finished,’ he said.

So, next time you’re nearby, make sure you say hello to Wiko at the Rose Street pedestrian crossing!

Say YESsendon and you’re winning

Since July, we’ve had hundreds of people saying ‘yes’ to shopping local. They’re all saying ‘YESsendon’!

Dozens of local shoppers have won weekly prizes, and our major prize winner won a stack of vouchers, treatments and treats from a range of businesses in the area.

Some of our winners simply entered the competition by sticking to their regular shopping routines and others took part in YESsendon by shopping locally while checking out construction works.

So even though the competition may have ended, you can continue to ‘Say YESsendon’ to support your local traders. Remember, works are on and shops are open!

Walking tours

Our site walking tours were a massive hit in September, with all five tours sold out. The project team and field experts took participants to viewing points and explained key components of the complex project, including the design and construction processes, heritage approvals and landscaping plans.

St Martha’s Café

123 Buckley Street, Essendon

After working as head chef for more than a decade, Kamal Parekh is bringing a new brand of modern Australian cuisine to Essendon.

‘Our menu has flavours from everything that makes up modern Australia – Indian, Lebanese, Japanese – not to mention a range of healthy options,’ Kamal explains.

Their all-day breakfast has everything to kick-start your day with home-made granola, shakshuka and, of course, the traditional eggs and bacon.

For lunch, choose anything from sushi bowls andsalads to their mouth-watering wagyu burger.

‘Our signature dish is the protein-packed pancake. Whether you want a nutritious meal following a workout or simply a super tasty breakfast – this is the dish for you,’ says Kamal.

In addition to your regular caffeine hits from Axil Roasters Coffee, there are a range of juices and smoothies, including ‘Green energy’ with kale, avocado, green apple, banana, chia and coconut water.

St Martha’s is open from 6.30am to 4.00pm every day, so pop in and say hi to Kamal and the team for breakky, lunch or something in between.

Project timeline


June 2018

  • Piling work start
  • Major services relocation
  • Drainage works in Russell Street

July 2018

  • Installation of permanent barriers along service road
  • Construction of service roads
  • Relocation of Protective Services Officers' building
  • Start of station underpass works
August 2018
  • Boom gates removed
  • Construction of road bridge
  • Station underpass work
  • Excavation of the road underpass
September 2018
  • Excavation of the road underpass
  • Construction of rail bridge
  • Installation of architectural panels on the underpass
  • Station underpass works
  • LandscapingRoad underpass open
October – December 2018
  • Minor road worksLandscaping
  • Station underpass works
Early 2019 Works completed
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