The Victorian Government has announced the removal of all level crossings in Melbourne’s inner north region, as part of the AUD 1 billion (USD 702.3 million) investment in level crossing removal works in Coburg, Brunswick and Preston.
The project in Melbourne envisages an elevated rail design which will see the removal of four dangerous and congested level crossings on the Upfield line and another four on the Mernda line.
“We said we’d get rid of them and now we’re getting on with the job of removing these dangerous crossings. This is part of a huge investment in the inner north creating jobs and better connections for those living and working in these communities,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan said.
Works on the Upfield line will start later this year with the boom gates gone in 2020. The level crossing removals on the Mernda line will start in 2020.
On the Upfield line, the level crossings at Bell, Reynard and Munro streets in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick will be removed simultaneously by raising the rail line.
Sections of the Mernda Line will be replaced with a rail bridge as the level crossings are removed at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road in Preston.
The elevated designs will deliver new open spaces and better cycling and pedestrian connections. As part of these projects, new stations will be built at Coburg, Moreland, Preston and Bell with the heritage-listed station buildings at Coburg and Moreland preserved
Each day about 150,000 vehicles pass through these eight level crossings in Melbourne’s inner north. 68,000 vehicles pass through the four crossings on the Upfield Line, and about 82,000 vehicles cross the four level crossings on the Mernda Line. The boom gates can be down for up to 40 per cent of the two-hour morning peak. Combined, these crossings have seen more than 50 near misses since 2005, two serious injuries and one fatality.