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Level crossings in Edithvale and Bonbeach can be removed using a trench and without posing a threat to the Ramsar-listed Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands, an environmental assessment has found.
The engineering designs presented by the Level Crossing Removal Authority in an Environment Effect Statement (EES) will minimise any impact of the work on the environment and manage groundwater flows during construction.
In the long term, careful and continued monitoring of the area will ensure any environmental impacts from lowering the rail line are minimal and can be managed effectively. The trench option will go ahead in Edithvale and Bonbeach.
Following planning and environmental approvals, works to remove the level crossings and build two stations will be completed by 2022.
Work in Edithvale and Bonbeach is part is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s massive $2 billion investment on the Frankston line which includes the removal of 13 level crossings and building 10 new stations.
By the end of September, the Seaford Road level crossing will be gone for good and the road bridge across the Patterson River will be open to traffic.
Work on the $10 million revitalisation of Seaford will begin later this year, and geotechnical work has started in Carrum to support the removal of three level crossings, a new station, and a $50 million revitalisation of Carrum village.
The EES was authorised by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne and publicly exhibited for consultation earlier this year.
An independent committee of planning and environment specialists reviewed the 248 submissions and sat for seven days in June, hearing from environmental experts, engineers and community members before making recommendations to the Minister.
Following the Minister’s Assessment, formal approvals for the projects will be sought including a set of Environmental Performance Requirements that will ensure the environment is protected.
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We’re delivering what the community wants and will ensure the local environmental impacts are managed. The trench option for Edithvale and Bonbeach will remove two dangerous and congested level crossings and build two new stations.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“The Level Crossing Removal Authority provided a comprehensive Environment Effects Statement, and my assessment is that the projects can be built and operated with acceptable environmental outcomes.”
Quote attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny
“I want to thank my local community for working with us as we have gone through this important process – that work will continue as we get on with removing these dangerous and congested level crossings.
Quote attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson
“We’ve worked alongside the local community to work out the best and most environmentally safe way to remove these level crossings – now that work continues to ensure they’re gone for good.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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