The Victorian Government has released design options for the next eight projects on the Frankston line as part of the next step in removing dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne.
The design options under consideration are available for community consultation throughout September and October 2016.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said, “We’re working with each local community to get rid of these congested death traps.”
Technical investigations have been undertaken at the eight sites, some of which are among the most complex in Melbourne due to the narrow rail corridor, high water table, and proximity to the bay and Nepean Highway.
Design options that have been investigated include building a rail bridge, building a rail trench, building a road bridge, or building a road trench. Extended elevated rail, or “skyrail”, is not under consideration.
“Feedback from local residents and businesses will be vital to help inform engineering experts on the best design options that will work best for the local community at each project site,” Ms Allan said.
At the five separate level crossings in Mentone, Cheltenham, Edithvale, Bonbeach and Seaford, both a rail trench and rail bridge remain under consideration and will be presented for consultation.
Both options under consideration for Cheltenham’s Charman Road level crossing removal will include the removal of an additional crossing at Park Road, further improving safety and reducing traffic congestion.
Either option may require land acquisition and the project team has begun contacting potentially affected residents and businesses.
Experts have identified significant environmental challenges at Edithvale, Bonbeach, and Seaford relating to regional groundwater flows and the potential to affect the Ramsar-listed Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.
As a result of expert advice, the Level Crossing Removal Authority will make a referral to the Minister for Planning to consider an Environmental Effects Statement at these three sites.
In Carrum, options include building a rail bridge over a new crossing at Macleod Road – the main thoroughfare – with either a rail bridge or closure of Eel Race Road crossing, and the closure of Station Street crossing.
A rail trench is not an option at this site because of the proximity to the Patterson River.
A new road connection of Station Street over the Patterson River is also being considered at this site.
At Skye Road in Frankston, a rail bridge is the only option due to the overland flood plain.
“These level crossings are dangerous and congested – and we’re getting rid of them as promised,” Ms Allan said.
This community consultation and further technical and environmental investigations will contribute to the recommended designs for each site, which will be finalised in early 2017.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.