Seaford: Seaford Road level crossing
05 Sep 2016
Seaford: Seaford Road level crossing
[Title: Level Crossing Removal Project]
Travis - Senior Project Manager
Hi. My name is Travis. I’m a Senior Project Manager with the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
[Vision: Map of Frankston Line showing level crossing removal sites]
We’re responsible for the level crossing removal here at Seaford Road, Seaford, which is one of 11 to be removed on the Frankston line, and one of 50 to be removed across Melbourne.
[Vision: Level crossing and train at Seaford Road - time lapse of traffic]
Removing the level crossing will make the whole intersection safer by separating trains from passing motorists, and cyclists and pedestrians.
[Travis speaking - Seaford Road sign - level crossing]
It will also stop the build-up of traffic as people won’t need to wait for the boom gates being down anymore.
We’ve done a range of planning and technical investigations to date, with more to follow.
[Vision: Workmen drilling - Travis speaking]
Some of the things we’ve been working on is geotechnical investigations, looking to really understand the ground conditions. And we do that by drilling holes in the ground, up to 20 to 40 metres. That will give us a good insight of what the ground is made up of, and also how far below the ground surface the water is.
[Vision: Flora and fauna studies, cultural heritage studies, Travis speaking]
Other investigations have included environmental studies, flora and fauna studies, cultural heritage studies, and we’ve also had a look at the utility services in the area whether it be gas, water, electricity or stormwater drainage.
[Vision: Hydrology workmen]
And in this location also we’ve look at the hydrology, how the water flows across the railway line.
[Travis speaking - Kananook Creek sign and catchment - workmen and time lapse construction]
It’s important to understand the groundwater at this location, as it may have an impact on nearby significant wetlands, and also to help us understand any issues we need to consider during construction.
[Travis speaking - community information session March 2016 - level crossing and traffic congestion]
Earlier this year we asked you what was important to you at this particular level crossing. There was strong feedback in relation to the congestion around the level crossing, and the delays caused by the boom gates being down.
[Travis speaking - signpost - reserve - beach]
We also heard that the Seaford Reserve, R F Mills Reserve, is a great community asset, and people really love the natural environment of not only the reserve, but the beach and Kananook Creek.
People often ask how do you remove a level crossing. Well, there’s multiple ways in doing it.
[Vision: Ways to remove level crossings]
Each site is different and you need to understand the pros and cons of each of the options.
For the Seaford Road level crossing removal we have two options under active consideration.
[Vision: Options under active consideration]
The first being a rail over road option, and the second lowering the railway line beneath Seaford Road.
[Vision: Seaford Road option rail over the road]
The rail-over option will involve building a rail bridge over Seaford Road, which would extend for about 900 metres. One of the benefits with the rail bridge option is the amount of space it will open up beneath the rail bridge itself. This will create an opportunity for people to cross the railway line and access the Seaford Reserve and also Kananook Creek.
[Travis speaking - overview of Seaford - railway crossing and cyclist]
There would also be an opportunity to increase the open space in the vicinity of the level crossing, and this may include extending and upgrading the existing cycle and walking paths adjacent to the railway line.
[Travis speaking - construction site]
Given the space available to construct the rail bridge means that we can actually do a lot of this work while trains are running, minimising the disruption to rail passengers.
[Travis speaking - Level crossing]
One of the main drawbacks with the rail bridge option is the fact it will be raised over Seaford Road, which may have some overshadowing to nearby properties.
We understand not everyone wants to see a rail bridge.
[Vision: Tree - Travis speaking]
We’d also need to remove some trees with this option, however given the space available, there’s plenty of opportunity to put a lot of trees back along the railway line.
[Vision: Seaford Road option, rail under the road]
The second option would require lowering the railway line beneath Seaford Road, similar to what we’ve done up at Bentleigh, Ormond and McKinnon. One of the benefits of lowering the railway line is that we can maintain views at ground level. However, we would need to place barriers and fences along the full length of the trench.
[Vision: cyclist crossing level crossing - tree]
And with this option there is an opportunity to upgrade the cycling and walking path along the railway line, and plant some more trees.
[Travis speaking - Railway Parade sign]
Some of the challenges with lowering the railway line at this location, involved the need for the relocation of utility services.
[Vision: Level crossing - train - power pole]
Those crossing the railway line would need to be removed, such as power, water and telecommunications.
[Vision: Construction site]
In addition, because the groundwater is close to the surface here, we’d need to build a waterproof tank structure, similar to a bathtub, so it’s technically challenging.
Also it makes it more difficult to cross the railway line.
[Vision: Pedestrians crossing road - shops - reserve]
People would need to cross at Seaford Road itself, and there wouldn’t be any other opportunities to cross the railway line and access Seaford Reserve or Kananook Creek.
[Travis speaking - pedestrians - traffic]
Those would have to be done through the provision of pedestrian overpasses with the need for long, lengthy ramps.
[Travis speaking - Options not under active consideration]
The road-based options at Seaford Road have been set aside at this point in time. That’s because both the road over and road under options needed a significant amount of properties to be purchased.
[Travis speaking - overview of Seaford and residential area]
The reason we don’t think these options are going to work is because there are other options available and the impact to the community, associated with the purchase of these properties, we found to be unacceptable.
And we understand there are pros and cons associated with both of the options.
[Vision: Workmen - reserve - community meeting]
We’ll continue to do our detailed investigations to further understand the technical aspects of these designs, and also hear from you in terms of what’s important to you.
We’ll continue with further design and come back, by the end of the year, with a preferred option.
[Vision: Construction - Travis speaking]
Construction is due to start in 2018, and we’re really looking forward to removing this level crossing once and for all.
[Vision - come to one of our community information sessions - Join the online conversation - Travis speaking]
So please, provide your feedback for us so we can make sure we get the solution right at Seaford Road.
[For more information levelcrossings.vic.gov.au]
[Level Crossing Removal Authority - Victoria State Government]
[Speaker: Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]