Ferguson Street, Williamstown – vegetation removal fact sheet
03 Dec 2020
Getting ready for major construction
The Victorian Government is removing the level crossing at Ferguson Street and building a new North Williamstown Station.
Works will soon be underway to remove the Ferguson Street level crossing by lowering the rail line under the road, which will improve safety and traffic flow, and create new community spaces.
Vegetation removal is a critical part of the process of preparing for major construction. It will take place from January 2021.
Careful planning is undertaken by qualified arborists and sustainability and environmental specialists to minimise the impacts to local flora and fauna.
Why we need to remove trees and vegetation
We need to remove some trees and shrubs to enable the safe construction of the new rail trench, install essential cables and services and provide temporary space for construction offices, machinery and equipment.
How we remove trees and vegetation
Most of the trees identified for removal are within the narrow rail corridor and are required to be removed so that the new rail trench can be safely built.
Trees to be retained will be fenced off to ensure that the roots and branches are protected during construction.
Our project team will contact nearby residents prior to works.
Smaller trees and shrubs will be mulched on site and larger logs will be retained and repurposed locally.
We are working with community groups and schools to reuse felled vegetation as natural seating and mulch.
Assessing trees and vegetation
As part of our planning, tree assessments were completed by a qualified arborist to determine:
- structural integrity, including the size and location of tree roots
- health and life expectancy
- amenity and environmental value
- location of services in proximity to trees.
We have used these assessments to identify trees that can be protected and retained and those that we need to remove.
Trees have been inspected for the presence of native vegetation and wildlife. No protected species were identified within the project area.
We will have a fauna handler, arborist and environmental professionals on site during the vegetation removal works to appropriately handle any fauna that we may encounter unexpectedly.
Minimising tree loss
Reducing tree loss is a priority for the project. We are constantly reviewing our design and construction methods to reduce the number of trees that need to be removed.
These efforts will be ongoing and our workers on the ground will look for practical ways to avoid tree loss.
We'll work with Hobsons Bay City Council to try to retain trees with special significance to the community. Our design allows us to retain all the large eucalyptus trees near the Power Street playground.
Landscaping and replanting
An advantage of the rail trench design is that it allows us to retain more mature trees and maximise space to replant new trees, plants, shrubs and grasses near the rail line and in the new station forecourt area. For every tree that we remove, two new trees will be planted in the area.
Landscaping and vegetation planting will start at the end of construction activities and will likely occur during the appropriate season, to ensure they grow quickly and healthily.
If you have any queries about vegetation removal at Ferguson Street, we encourage you to contact our project team via our call centre on 1800 105 105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org