AS work continues on the removal of every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong, the Victorian Government this month released final designs for 22.5 hectares of landscaped parks, paths and recreation facilities to be created as part of the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority's Project Director, Brett Summers, said raising the rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong would not only get rid of nine level crossings, but will connect communities previously split apart by ground level tracks.
"I am extremely proud of the work done by our design team and hope these plans can help the community share our excitement for how the rail corridor will be transformed," Mr Summers said.
"While improving congestion and safety will always be at the heart of this project, we are also setting out to transform places and the open space is an amazing opportunity to do just that."
Across the entire 22.5 hectares of open space, guidance from the community and a specially-formed Community Open Space Expert Panel helped to inform the final designs, which have incorporated around two thirds of the group's recommendations.
A key recommendation from the panel – led by Royal Botanic Gardens Chief Tim Entwisle – was that spaces earmarked for recreation should have 'something for everyone' and appealing to all ages, and the final designs include multi-purpose sports courts, rock climbing, skate elements and fenced dog parks.
Other highlights include:
- More than 430 commuter car spaces will also be added along the Caulfield to Dandenong corridor.
- Heritage features from station buildings - including bluestone and iron latticework, featured throughout.
- More than 4000 trees will be planted to green up the new open space and nearby parks and reserves, including hundreds gifted to local councils and community groups.
- A walking and cycling path will run all the way from Caulfield to the Eastlink Trail in Yarraman will link together sections of existing track to form a continuous route, and include rest stops, public bike pumps and exercise stations.
- In Clayton, seeds from the original 1918 Avenue of Honour – largely lost to development in the late 1940s – will be used to propagate a new row of oak trees in honour of past and present servicemen and women.
More information is available from the Level Crossing Removal Authority website at <http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/crossings/caulfield-to-dandenong/open-space>.