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Toorak Road, Kooyong community update - February 2019

18 Feb 2019

We are getting rid of the dangerous and congested level crossing at Toorak Road, Kooyong, one of the 75 level crossings being removed across Melbourne.

Our extensive onsite technical investigations showed a rail bridge to be the best solution to improve local connections, create new open space and minimise disruption. A rail bridge also allows us to retain more trees along the rail line, when compared with other design options, and re-establish vegetation following construction.

The Toorak Road/ Monash Freeway interchange is one of the most congested intersections in Melbourne. Its removal will help ease congestion on Glenferrie and Tooronga Road and make travel easier and more reliable for residents of Kooyong, Malvern, Toorak, Hawthorn and surrounding suburbs.

As we develop detailed designs, we want to hear from locals to inform features of the rail bridge and open space created by it, including walking and cycling connections and landscaping options.

Toorak Road design render

*Concept designs only, subject to change.

Why the Toorak Road level crossing needs to go
    • Approx 37,000 cars each day
    • Boom gates are down for 35% of the morning peak
    • 150 daily train services, 44 during peak periods
    • Improve traffic flow on and off the Monash freeway
    • At least 5 accidents and near misses since 2005

Construction on this important transport project will commence in the coming months, with the level crossing gone by 2021.

Toorak Road design render

*Concept designs only, subject to change.

What have we done so far?

Each level crossing site is unique. They are all detailed, complex projects that have to work within limitations created by infrastructure such as roads, buildings, utility services, the topography of the site, and the area’s ground conditions.

Detailed planning and technical work underpins each project, helping to identify the risks and opportunities at each level crossing. At Toorak Road this work included:

  • geotechnical investigations (drilling) to learn about the ground conditions
  • site surveys, including environmental surveys
  • traffic studies
  • determining where the existing service utilities, such as gas, water, electricity, telecommunications and sewerage are located
  • feature survey
  • flora and fauna investigations
  • cultural and heritage investigations.

These investigations led to the determination that a rail bridge is the best design option for the Toorak Road level crossing removal.

Planned project timeline


Late 2018 – early 2019

  • Planning and technical investigations
  • Initial planning, site investigations and design assessments

Early 2019 – we are here

  • Design solution confirmed
  • Engaging the community on aspects of the confirmed design

Early-mid 2019

  • Procurement and refine design elements
  • Tender process to choose a company to design and build the project
  • Engage the community further on defined, negotiable elements of the design

Late 2019-early 2020

  • Contract award and construction
  • Finalise design
  • Award contract to a construction delivery partner
  • Major works commence

By 2021

  • Delivery
  • Construction completed

Project map - concept designs only subject to change

*concept designs only subject to change

Why the rail bridge is the best solution for Toorak Road:

The level crossing's proximity to the Monash Freeway, Gardiners Creek, and the location of utility services presents extensive challenges, making a rail bridge the best solution.

Limited impact on water and drainage flows

High ground water levels were identified in the vicinity of the level crossing. Other designs would have interrupted the flow of storm water into nearby Gardiners Creek and been more susceptible to flooding.

Least disruption to utility services

A rail bridge avoids the need to relocate complex water, drainage and utility services, including one of Melbourne’s major telecommunication cables that services local homes and businesses in the eastern suburbs.

Shorter construction time

The rail bridge will be built “offline”. This means the new section of rail will be built directly adjacent to the current rail line, reducing the construction time by up to 12 months and the extent of disruptions on Toorak Road and the Glen Waverley line.

Opportunities for new public spaces

The rail bridge will free-up new public open space, creating opportunities for new uses of the area previously restricted for the rail line.

Less trees removed

The rail bridge design creates the best long term outcome – it limits the number of trees that will be removed, and

the elevated rail bridge structure enables more trees to be planted than other designs would permit. A rail trench would result in a greater loss of trees.

Future level crossing removals

The design for the removal of the Toorak Road level crossing allows for nearby level crossings at Tooronga and Glenferrie Roads to be removed in the future. While every level crossing is dangerous and causes congestion, the Toorak Road crossing has been prioritised due to its immediate proximity to the Monash Freeway interchange and the extensive widespread congestion it causes.

Be inspired: what do you want to see?

Rail bridges have been used on a number of level crossing removal projects across Melbourne, creating new space for communities to enjoy.

Below are some photos from other projects. What does your local area need?

Pedestrian walkway artists impression - Frankston
Pedestrian walkway artists impression - Frankston 
Play equipment – Hawkstowe Station, South Morang
Play equipment - Hawkstowe Station 
Landscaping – Middle Gorge Station
Landscaping - Middle Gorge Station 
Walking and cycling path - Noble Park
Walking and cycling path - Noble Park 

We want to hear from you

With the rail bridge identified as the best option for the Toorak Road level crossing removal, we want to hear your ideas on how to use the new open space, how you’d like the landscaping to look, and the kinds of features we could include on the rail bridge.

In the coming weeks you’ll have the chance to provide your ideas by joining the conversation online or attending our drop-in sessions. Following our discussions with the community, we will consider your input and release updated precinct designs in mid-2019.

Get involved


Head to our Online Hub to have your say through the formal Planning Scheme Amendment Process. Feedback opens on 18 February 2019 and closes at 5:00pm on Monday 18 March 2019, so make sure you complete a survey online.

Pop-ups and drop-in sessions

We will be hosting pop-ups and drop-in sessions later this month to hear your views. Check out our events or register for e-updates for further details.

Read the PDF version of this community update PDF, 2.7 MB

Toorak Road design render

*Concept designs only, subject to change.

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