WORK has begun to remove the level crossings at Lower Plenty Road in Rosanna and Grange Road in Alphington, and duplicate a 1.2-kilometre section of the Hurstbridge line, the Victorian Government announced last week.
Over the coming weeks, the project team will begin to establish site fences and a site office, complete further geotechnical investigations, remove vegetation and relocate underground utilities in preparation for major construction.
The Hurstbridge Line upgrade aims to improve the frequency and reliability of services in Melbourne's north east, with flow-on benefits for the South Morang line. It includes:
- Duplication of 1.2 kilometres of single-track section between Heidelberg and Rosanna;
- Construction of a new rail tunnel alongside the existing tunnel in Heidelberg;
- Construction of a new Rosanna Station;
- Power and signalling upgrades; and
- Removal of two level crossings at Alphington and Rosanna.
The level crossing removal at Lower Plenty Road in Rosanna involves the construction of a new rail bridge over the road, which follows extensive engineering, planning and community engagement to find the best way to separate trains from traffic given the incline of the road and the nearby creek and surrounding parklands.
The rail bridge will protect train services from disruptions caused by flooding and save hundreds of local trees compared to the rail trench option, which would have been about double the length of the bridge.
At Grange Road, the level crossing will be removed by lowering the railway line to pass under Grange Road.
The $395 million contract for the Hurstbridge Rail Line Upgrade and removal of two level crossings will be complete by the end of 2018. The contract was awarded last month to an alliance of Laing O'Rourke, Fulton Hogan and Jacobs, with completion scheduled for 2019.