VICTORIAN Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan last week visited St Albans to celebrate the removal of two level crossings, opening of two new stations, and return of train services following a month-long construction blitz.
According to the Minister, the Furlong Road and Main Road level crossings in St Albans were two of Victoria's most dangerous and congested, with a number of deaths and accidents and many more near misses. During the morning peak, boom gates were down for between a quarter and half of the time.
Over the last four weeks, hundreds of staff worked around the clock to excavate 48,000 cubic metres of soil and rock to lower the rail line and allow trains to run safely under Main and Furlong roads. St Albans and Ginifer Stations were also demolished and rebuilt in October, and are now open to passengers.
While both crossings are now gone, Main Road has been closed until 28 November to allow for the removal of the old tracks and re-surfacing of the road. When the road re-opens, all major St Albans level crossing works will be complete.
The Main Road level crossing removal includes:
- Lowering the rail line below Main Road;
- Rebuilding St Albans Station;
- Accessing lowered platforms via lifts, ramps and stairs;
- Reconstructing the station car park providing the same number of spaces as a minimum;
- Building a walking and cycling path;
- Relocating the bus interchange from Alfrieda Street to either side of the station; and
- A pedestrian overpass at Ruth Street.
The Furlong Road level crossing removal includes:
- Lowering the rail line below Furlong Road;
- Moving Ginifer Station up to the intersection at Furlong Road, with access to the station at Furlong Road and Bond Street;
- Installing platforms in the rail cutting accessed via lifts, ramp and stairs;
- Building a walking and cycling path parallel to the rail line, from Furlong Road to Willis Street; and
- Relocating the car park to the east of the rail line, maintaining at least the same number of spaces.
The level crossing removals were delivered by an Alliance consisting of Leighton Contractors, Aurecon and Hyder Consulting. The Alliance is also delivering the level crossing removals at Blackburn Road in Blackburn and Heatherdale Road in Mitcham.