Melbourne’s straddle carrier reaches milestone on level crossing removal

A super-sized straddle carrier has now helped to install more than 100 beams between Caulfield and Hughesdale in Melbourne as part of a Victorian Government project to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings.

The machinery, which has been operating from Murrumbeena alongside two large gantry cranes since August 2017, has been working to lift concrete beams weighing up to 400 tonnes and lower them into place to form a 3.2km section of the new elevated rail.

While works progress to remove all nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong, the straddle carrier has been custom-built to operate in one of the narrowest sections of rail corridor in Melbourne’s south east, meaning the rail line could be built from above rather than from the side.

Project Director, Brett Summers, said, “Understanding the complexity of this section, we’ve sourced these innovative machines to achieve the elevated design.

“Getting these 100 spans in place is a huge achievement, and one our crews should be proud of.”

Hitting the major milestone recently, coinciding with six million work hours logged on the Caulfield to Dandenong Project, focus will now turn to the final 70-odd concrete beams which still need to be installed in readiness for steel track to be laid.

The completion of the elevated section by the end of 2018 will enable the removal of Grange, Koornang, Murrumbeena and Poath Road level crossings, where boom gates are down for up to 80 minutes in the two-hour morning peak.

Then, landscaping works can commence to replace the old ground-level tracks and create new open space including parks, paths and play areas.

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