Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert – Managing the environment
29 Jun 2021
Environmental specialist undertakes flora and fauna assessment
We’re removing the dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert by lowering the rail line beneath the roads in an open trench and building a new premium station with better facilities and more services.
Major works to lower the tracks into an open trench and build a new, safer station will start in 2022 and the dangerous level crossings will be gone in 2023 – two years earlier than originally planned.
A sustainable approach
We carefully consider sustainability and our impact on the environment during the design and construction of our projects.
During construction, we’ll implement best practice environmental management measures to ensure we comply with relevant legislation by authorities including the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Additionally, the project will be assessed using the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) rating tool, which independently reviews and scores infrastructure projects in categories such as energy, resource efficiency and innovation.
Flora and fauna
Prior to the development of the project, we conducted an ecological assessment in late 2020 to understand the current flora and fauna within the project area. The assessment found that limited native flora and fauna are present within the project area and impacts to fauna would be negligible.
We survey all vegetation in the project area. In doing this, we can ensure that we avoid removing vegetation that has significant environmental or cultural importance, where possible. We will also obtain offsets for any native vegetation removal that is required.
For more information, see our Trees and Vegetation factsheet at levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
Landscaping and replanting
Our consultation told us that trees and vegetation are extremely important to the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert communities. We have listened to this feedback and taken it into consideration throughout the planning and design process.
We’ll retain as many of the large trees as we can during construction and replace every tree we do remove with at least two new trees, either as part of our landscaping or elsewhere in the local area. In addition, landscaping at the end of the project will include thousands of new trees, plants and shrubs.
We will continue to work with local councils and the community on vegetation management and landscaping opportunities in the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert area.
New station design
The project aims to achieve at a minimum an ‘Excellent’ Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia rating and a four-star Green Star rating.
We'll seek to achieve this by reducing energy consumption, conserving water, reusing and recycling materials, and using materials that have a low-carbon footprint.
The new station will include a range of energy efficiency and smart control measures to minimise energy use.
For example, several solar panels will produce carbon neutral power, minimising energy costs for the station in the future.
The station precinct will be designed to minimise water consumption by using efficient fixtures, rainwater capture and storage for reuse, and drought resilient plants.
We’ll also ensure the use of healthy non-toxic materials. This includes the use of low volatile organic compound and low – or no – formaldehyde paints, adhesives sealants and engineered wood products.
During construction the project team will implement a range of measures to save water and energy and reduce waste. Some examples include:
- sourcing all grid connected power that is carbon neutral
- investigating use of solar or battery off-grid site sheds and caravan replacements, which reduce noise and carbon emissions
- use biodiesel for equipment instead of mineral diesel where possible
- smart construction approaches that remove waste, unnecessary travel and construction traffic.
A sustainable station
- solar panels
- rainwater capture and storage
- drought-resilient landscaping
- sustainable, non-toxic and recycled materials.
Landscaping at Gardiner Station, Glen Iris on the Burke Road Level Crossing Removal Project