The Victorian Government has announced it will get rid of three more dangerous and congested level crossings on the Frankston line.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, joined local Members Sonya Kilkenny and Tim Richardson in Bonbeach where the rail line will be lowered under Bondi Road to safely separate trains and traffic forever.
The line will also be lowered under Edithvale Road to remove the level crossing there, and new stations will be built at Bonbeach and Edithvale, improving access to public transport for thousands of local passengers.
“We’ve listened to the experts and the community, and worked out the best way to remove these dangerous and congested level crossings,” said Mr Richardson.
Detailed technical investigations have found that it is not feasible to lower the line into a trench to remove the level crossing in Seaford, due to the impact a rail trench would have on groundwater and its effect on Kananook Creek and the nearby Ramsar-listed Edithvale-Seaford wetlands.
As a result of these detailed technical determinations and community consultation, a new hybrid design will lower Seaford Road by around 1.5m and the rail line will be built onto a small planted embankment.
The Seaford project also includes $10 million to revitalise the Seaford community with extensive landscaping, a new shared user path, and huge upgrades to R.F Miles Reserve, which is used by a number of local sports clubs.
The announcement follows comprehensive planning, engineering and design work by technical experts, and extensive consultation with local residents and businesses throughout 2016.
These crossings are just three of 50 level crossings the Labor Government is removing across Melbourne – including 11 on the Frankston line – to reduce congestion, increase safety and run more trains, more often.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority has determined an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is necessary for Bonbeach and Edithvale, and both will be referred to the Minister for Planning to make a determination. The EES and any relevant Commonwealth approvals may take 12 months or more to complete.
Work at Seaford has been fast-tracked, with construction to start in early 2018.