Seaford Road, Seaford fact sheet: Trees and vegetation
24 Apr 2018
Along the Frankston line the Victorian Government is removing 13 dangerous level crossings and building a new train storage facility to improve safety, reduce congestion and run more trains, more often.
The project includes the removal of the Seaford Road, Seaford level crossing and the revitalisation of the RF Miles Reserve area.
The hybrid design with landscaped embankments at Seaford provides the opportunity to plant new trees and vegetation that will fit in with the character of the local area.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) will continue to work with its Seaford Community Reference Group (CRG), other local community groups and residents on the revitalisation, including planting new vegetation and landscaping.
Managing tree and vegetation removal
All major infrastructure projects have an impact on the local area during construction, including the removal of trees and vegetation.
LXRA works with aborists as well as environmental and sustainability specialists across all of its projects to minimise the amount of vegetation removal required, and to manage the impacts on flora and fauna.
Throughout community consultation we've heard how important the trees and vegetation are to the Seaford community and have worked closely with our construction partners to try to minimise vegetation removal and preserve the habitats of local wildlife.
How we remove trees and vegetation
Arborists assessments have been completed to determine:
- Structural strength of trees and vegetation, including the size and location of tree roots
- Health and life expectancy of trees
- Amenity and environmental value that trees provide to the local area
- Location of utilities in proximity to trees
Where trees are to be retained work is undertaken to protect them during construction, as well as any sensitive environmental areas such as habitats, heritage sites and waterways.
Prior to removal, trees are inspected for the presence of wildlife, and qualified wildlife handlers are on call to safely move wildlife as necessary.
A substantial amount of vegetation removal has been required for the removal of the Seaford Road level crossing, construction of the temporary rail track and revitalisation.
The temporary rail track will allow us to construct the project alongside the live rail corridor and help to minimise disruptions to the 40,000 passengers that use the Frankston line each day.
To get access for machinery down the rail corridor we need to trim nearby trees and remove others. A five metre-wide access track and vertical clearance is required for this.
Works within the rail corridor can affect root systems and impact on tree stability and health, which may cause them to pose a safety risk to the local community and rail users. Trees assessed as posing a safety risk will be trimmed or removed.
The Seaford Level Crossing Removal Project will offset vegetation removed for the projects through landscaping, replanting and protecting vegetation in the region.
We've heard the local community has a preference for native vegetation common to Seaford to retain and enhance the natural beachside feel of the area. Trees and vegetation will also provide screening benefits to residents along the rail corridor while minimising the visual impact of the rail bridge as well as helping to mitigate graffiti.
Replanted vegetation adjacent to rail lines must meet strict safety requirements to avoid becoming a future safety risk to the operation and maintenance of the rail line and the community.
What happens with removed trees and vegetation
We've already begun collecting seeds from the Coastal Banksias and Eucalyptus species within the project area, which will be planted to develop new plantings.
These new plantings will be used as part of the revitalisation landscaping, donated to local council for use across parklands and reserves, and donated to local community groups and native plant nurseries.
We're also donating wood from removed trees to council and local groups, and reusing wood as habitat logs and public furniture. In some cases, repurposed wood is used to make nesting boxes for fauna relocation.
Fauna relocation and nesting boxes
We’re working alongside flora and fauna specialists to ensure the protection and safe relocation of wildlife.
Qualified wildlife handlers use nesting boxes to relocate fauna that have been identified during the clearing process. Using a cherry picker, the team erects a nesting box in another suitable habitat nearby to safely house the fauna. Some circumstances allow the animal to be moved inside their hollow and placed back into a tree into the adjoining reserve. Bird and mammal nests are also retained and relocated.
Our main goal when relocating wildlife is to keep species stress free and as close to their original habitat as possible. The Seaford Level Crossing Removal Project benefits from a large amount of bushland adjacent to project works which is suitable for fauna relocation.
Timber lives on at Frankston City Council
Trees removed in the Seaford area were recently donated as timber to the Frankston City Council for habitat re-use in the nearby wetlands. Prior to removal, Banksia species were nominated for habitat re-use based on existing hollows, structure and suitability for existing environments and fauna species.
Donated habitat timber and logs which are six metres in length and two metres radius, will be used to create hollows for fauna and new habitat in the wetlands area.
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