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ALMOST $600 million dollars will be dedicated to four level crossing removals on the Frankston line as a consortium that includes Lendlease wins the construction contract.
Work to remove the crossings at Mascot Ave, Station St, Eel Race Rd and Seaford Rd will begin next month.
It will be carried out by a consortium of Lendlease, Acciona Coleman and WSP, which were announced as winners of the $588 million contract today.
The project — part of a plan to remove nine level crossings on Melbourne’s busiest train line — also includes a 24-train storage facility and a new road bridge over Patterson River.
Premier Daniel Andrews said removing level crossings improved safety.
“We know that along the Frankston line lives have been lost, there has been significant injuries and we just don’t know have many times we go so close to somebody being killed or a serious incident occurring,” he said.
“You’ve got to build what’s safe and what’s going to work.”
A design for the Frankston line near Carrum. Picture: SuppliedThe plan to remove the level crossing along the Frankston line have previously been criticised as creating “rollercoaster rail”.
Sections of the track will be elevated, while others are lowered into trenches and underground.
Cameron Howe, from a Carrum and Patterson Lakes community group, said residents had repeatedly called for each of the crossings to be replaced by rail under road designs.
He said they were “deflated” by the latest announcement.
“The real concern is that the sky rail design will negatively impact amenity and does not comply with the character of these small beachside suburbs,” Mr Howe said.
“The sheer size of the sky rail design will be a blight on the beachside landscape.”
Today’s announcement comes just days after an Auditor-General report slammed the government scheme for failing to target the most dangerous and congested crossings.
The report found that 29 of the 50 being removed were rated as low or no priority by VicRoads.
A level crossing on the Frankston line. Picture: Jason SammonIt also revealed that the Level Crossing Removal Authority applied different assessment criteria to choose sites along the Frankston line, compared with other rail corridors.
“While the modified criteria produced similar results to the original assessments in this instance, the decision to use different criteria indicates that LXRA is not consistently or transparently applying the options assessment framework,” the report said.
Work to remove the four level crossings, including building the new road bridge across the Patterson river, will begin next month.
The bridge will be finished by the end of 2019.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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