Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach – Vegetation removal
24 Mar 2020
Getting ready for new station precincts
Along the Frankston Line, the Victorian Government is removing 18 level crossings and building 12 new stations as part of a $3 billion upgrade that will improve safety, reduce congestion and allow more trains to run more often.
The Frankston line will be lowered into a trench under Edithvale Road in Edithvale, Thames Promenade and Argyle Avenue in Chelsea, and Bondi Road in Bonbeach.
Vegetation and green space are important to local communities and support biodiversity along the rail corridor. Minimising the impact of vegetation removal is considered as part of both project design and construction.
To remove the level crossings with a rail trench between Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach requires major construction in the existing narrow corridor between two roads. The width of the trench is about 11 metres, and up to 24 metres in some sections, requiring substantial vegetation removal from Aspendale to Bonbeach.
To prepare for the level crossing removals vegetation removal will take place from late March to May 2022.
The Level Crossing Removal Project works with environmental and sustainability specialists across all projects to manage the impacts on flora and fauna.
Before being removed, trees are inspected for the presence of wildlife, and qualified handlers are on site to safely rehome wildlife.
Managing vegetation removal
Works within the rail corridor can affect tree root systems and impact on tree stability and health, which may cause a safety risk to the local community and rail users.
Trees that may pose a safety risk are trimmed or removed. Every effort is made to protect native vegetation. Where native vegetation cannot be kept it will be offset in approved locations.
How we remove trees and vegetation
- Structural strength, including the size and location of tree roots
- Health and life expectancy
- How close it is to construction works and services
What happens with removed trees and vegetation?
Vegetation is mulched on site, to allow for its easy and safe removal where possible.
We donate wood from removed trees to council and local groups, and re-use wood as habitat logs and public furniture were possible. In some cases, repurposed wood is used to make nesting boxes for fauna relocation.
Replanting and future landscaping
A landscaping plan is developed for each level crossing removal project.
Tree planting and landscaping done after the construction works are completed will include a greater variety of vegetation to increase biodiversity and create wildlife habitats.
Last year we consulted with the community to understand what landscaping and finishes we could incorporate into the design to enhance the look and feel of the area.
Some key themes were:
- the station designs to highlight the coastal locations
- preference for materials such as pavers and timber
- a combination of native trees, shrubs, flowering plants and grasses
Offset opportunities within the local area are being investigated.
Areas outside of the local area may also be considered based on availability of appropriate land for offset vegetation.
We are also working closely with Kingston City Council on options to enhance native vegetation in the local area.