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The Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) is a program of the Government of Victoria, Australia, to remove 75 level crossings in Melbourne. After pledging the project at the 2014 Victorian state election, the Andrews Government committed $2.4 billion in the 2015-2016 budget to remove the first 20 crossings by 2018. The remaining 30 are expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of $6 billion[1] to be funded through the privatisation of the Port of Melbourne. Prior to the 2018 state election, the Government committed to removing a further 25 level crossings, using a new prioritisation framework.[2]

Level Crossing Removal Program
Project overview
Formed2015
TypeProject team
JurisdictionMelbourne
HeadquartersMelbourne
EmployeesIncrease 382 (June 2018)
Minister responsible
Project executive
  • Kevin Devlin, CEO
Parent departmentDepartment of Transport
Parent authorityMajor Transport Infrastructure Authority
Websitelevelcrossings.vic.gov.au

Contents

BackgroundEdit

When Melbourne's railway network was built, because of the city's flat topography and sparse population, many railway crossings were via level crossing rather than bridges or underpasses. As traffic levels increased, these began to become bottlenecks, both for road traffic as well as limiting the number of trains that can be run, especially at peak times. In 1954, the State Government established a committee to look at removing of level crossings at Clifton Hill, Elsternwick, Footscray, Moorabbin, Newport.[3][4] These projects were all completed by 1960.[5]

In 1983, the level crossing at Station Street, Box Hill was removed.

In the 2000s, level crossings were removed at Laburnum (2007) and a few others.

In the early 2010s, level crossings were removed at Epping, Nunawading (2010), Springvale (2014), Sunshine (2014) and Mitcham (2014).[6][7][8]

As of 2014, there were 170 level crossings left on the Melbourne railway network and 228 places where railways had been separated from roads.[9] Over two-thirds of these grade separations were constructed between 1863 and 1918, with fewer than one level crossing removal per year between 1918 and 2015.[9] The commitment by the government to remove fifty level crossings over eight years represented the fastest rate of crossing removals in Melbourne's history.[9]

HistoryEdit

VicRoads compiled a report of the most dangerous level crossings in Victoria and handed it to the State Government in 2014, which in turn prioritised the top 50 for removal through grade separation projects, honouring a commitment made in its 2014 state election manifesto.[10] Many of the projects also involve the construction of new stations.

In September 2016, the Port of Melbourne lease was concluded providing $9.7 billion into infrastructure and securing funding for the remaining 30 level crossing removals.[11]

A report by the Victorian Auditor General, released in December 2017, found that the level crossing removal project was unlikely to represent value for money for the state. The report criticised the LXRA for its haste in delivering the program, and found that the rapid pace of the project had contributed to a failure to properly assess the merits of each grade separation. The Auditor General stated that the value of the project was compromised by the apparent political motivation for some crossing removals at the expense of more dangerous or congested intersections.[12]

In October 2018, LXRA surpassed the State Government's 2014 election commitment of removing 20 level crossings by 2018, having officially removed 29 crossings.[13] The Andrews Government also committed to removing a further 25 level crossings if it won the 2018 state election, and has introduced a new prioritisation framework based on safety, congestion and proximity to emergency services to select the crossings.[2]

GovernanceEdit

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) was formed in May 2015 as an administrative office of the then-new Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources to deliver the project.[14][15][16]

Later, the LXRA led delivery of other rail projects, including extension of the South Morang railway line to Mernda and upgrades of the Hurstbridge line and Frankston station. Currently, authority is delivering a new stabling facility north of Wyndham Vale station[17] and train storage at Kananook.[18]

The LXRA was abolished as an independent administrative office following the 2018 state election and its functions were absorbed into the newly formed Major Transport Infrastructure Authority at the Department of Transport.

List of crossing removalsEdit

 
Level Crossing Removal Authority contractors working to remove the level crossing at Centre Road, Bentleigh in July 2016

Original 50 crossing removals: 2014-2022Edit

Below is the LXRA's list of 50 level crossing removals and 2 additional grade separations that will be gone by 2022:[19]

Road Nearest station Line Solution Status Date of completion
Mountain Highway Bayswater Belgrave Hybrid Completed December 2016 [20][21]
Scoresby Road Bayswater Belgrave Rail under Completed December 2016 [21]
Blackburn Road Blackburn Belgrave Rail under Completed January 2017
Heatherdale Road Heatherdale Belgrave Rail under Completed January 2017
Buckley Street Essendon Craigieburn Road under Completed September 2018
Glenroy Road Glenroy Craigieburn Rail under Contract awarded 2022[22]
Abbotts Road Dandenong Cranbourne Rail over Completed September 2018 [23]
Thompsons Road Merinda Park Cranbourne Road over Completed June 2018 [24]
Centre Road Bentleigh Frankston Rail under Completed August 2016 [25]
Station Street/Bondi Road Bonbeach Frankston Rail under Out to tender
Mascot Avenue* Bonbeach Frankston Closed off Under construction Early 2020
Station Street Carrum Frankston Rail over Under construction Early 2020
Charman Road Cheltenham Frankston Rail under Under construction Late 2020[26]
Park Road* Cheltenham Frankston Rail under Under construction Late 2020[26]
Edithvale Road Edithvale Frankston Rail under Out to tender
Skye/Overton Road Frankston Frankston Rail over Completed June 2018[27]
McKinnon Road McKinnon Frankston Rail under Completed August 2016[25]
Balcombe Road Mentone Frankston Rail under Under construction Late 2020[28]
North Road Ormond Frankston Rail under Completed August 2016[25]
Eel Race Road Seaford Frankston Closed off Under construction Early 2020
Seaford Road Seaford Frankston Hybrid Completed September 2018[29]
Burke Road Gardiner Glen Waverley Rail under Completed January 2016[30]
Toorak Road Kooyong Glen Waverley Rail over Planning 2021
Grange Road Alphington Hurstbridge Rail under Completed May 2018[31]
Lower Plenty Road Rosanna Hurstbridge Rail over Completed May 2018[32]
Maroondah Highway Lilydale Lilydale Early planning
Manchester Road Mooroolbark Lilydale Early planning
Bell Street Bell Mernda Rail over Contract awarded 2021[33]
High Street Reservoir Mernda Rail over Under construction Early 2020[34]
Clyde Road Berwick Pakenham Planning 2022
Grange Road Carnegie Pakenham Rail over Completed June 2018[35]
Koornang Road Carnegie Pakenham Rail over Completed June 2018[35]
Centre Road Clayton Pakenham Rail over Completed April 2018[36]
Clayton Road Clayton Pakenham Rail over Completed April 2018[36]
South Gippsland Highway Dandenong Pakenham Road over Planning 2022
Hallam Road Hallam Pakenham Early planning
Poath Road Hughesdale Pakenham Rail over Completed June 2018[35]
Murrumbeena Road Murrumbeena Pakenham Rail over Completed June 2018[35]
Chandler Road Noble Park Pakenham Rail over Completed February 2018[37]
Corrigan Road Noble Park Pakenham Rail over Completed February 2018[37]
Heatherton Road Noble Park Pakenham Rail over Completed February 2018[37]
Furlong Road Ginifer Sunbury Rail under Completed November 2016[38]
Main Road St Albans Sunbury Rail under Completed November 2016[38]
Melton Highway Watergardens Sunbury Road over Completed January 2018[39]
Moreland Road Moreland Upfield Rail over Contract awarded 2020[33]
Camp Road Campbellfield Upfield Rail under Completed December 2017
Bell Street Coburg Upfield Rail over Contract awarded 2020[33]
Aviation Road Aircraft Werribee Road over Under construction Early 2019
Cherry Street Werribee Werribee Contract awarded 2022[40]
Werribee Street Werribee Werribee Contract awarded 2022[40]
Kororoit Creek Road Seaholme Werribee Rail over Completed July 2018 [41]
Ferguson Street Williamstown Williamstown Contract awarded

*Park Road, Cheltenham and Mascot Avenue, Bonbeach were added to the committed 50 level crossing removals after consultation along the Frankston corridor. This pushed the number of level crossing removals to 52.

Additional 25 crossing removals: 2022-2025Edit

The following 25 crossings are proposed by the State Government to be removed by 2025:

Road Nearest station Line Preferred solution [42] Status Date of Completion
Fitzgerald Road Ardeer Ballarat & Geelong Road over Early planning
Mount Derrimt Road Deer Park Ballarat & Geelong Rail over Early planning
Robinsons Road Deer Park Ballarat & Geelong Road under Early planning
Mont Albert Road Mont Albert Belgrave & Lilydale Rail under Early planning
Union Road Surrey Hills Belgrave & Lilydale Rail under Early planning
Camms Road Cranbourne Cranbourne Road over Early planning
Evans Road Merinda Park Cranbourne Road over Planning 2020
Greens Road Dandenong Cranbourne Rail over Early planning
Webster Street Dandenong Cranbourne & Pakenham Hybrid Early planning
Argyle Avenue Chelsea Frankston Rail under Early planning
Chelsea Road Chelsea Frankston Rail under Early planning
Glen Huntly Road Glenhuntly Frankston Rail under Early planning
Neerim Road Glenhuntly Frankston Rail under Early planning
Swanpool Avenue Chelsea Frankston Rail under Early planning
Cramer Street Preston Mernda Rail over Planning 2021[33]
Murray Road Preston Mernda Rail over Planning 2021[33]
Oakover Road Bell Mernda Rail over Planning 2021[33]
Cardinia Road Cardinia Road Pakenham Road over Early planning
Main Street Pakenham Pakenham Rail over Early planning
McGregor Road Pakenham Pakenham Rail over Early planning
Racecourse Road Pakenham Pakenham Rail over Early planning
Gap Road Sunbury Sunbury Road under Early planning
Munro Street Coburg Upfield Rail over Planning 2020[33]
Reynard Street Coburg Upfield Rail over Planning 2020[33]
Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing Werribee Road over Planning 2022[40]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "About - Level Crossing Removal Project". Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Andrews pledges 25 new level crossing removals in Melbourne". ABC News. 21 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Abolition of Busy Level Crossings" Railway Gazette 13 August 1954 page 176
  4. ^ "Abolishing Level Crossings in Victoria" Railway Gazette 30 December 1955 pages 769-771
  5. ^ "Abolition of Level Crossings in Victoria" Railway Gazette 4 November 1960 pages 539/540
  6. ^ "Infrastructure" Railway Gazette International July 2009 page 14
  7. ^ Rail line boost already on track Herald Sun 28 November 2011
  8. ^ Springvale road and rail grade separation Arup
  9. ^ a b c Woodcock, Ian; Stone, John (2016). "The Benefits of Level Crossing Removal: lessons from Melbourne's historical experience". University of Melbourne/RMIT University: 13 – via RMIT Researchbank.
  10. ^ Carey, Adam (26 October 2015). "Level crossings: VicRoads list of Melbourne's worst overlooked by Labor". The Age. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  11. ^ Promise Delivered: Port Of Melbourne Leased To Remove Level Crossings And Create Thousands Of Jobs Premier of Victoria 19 September 2016
  12. ^ Carey, Adam (14 December 2017). "Level crossing removal program poor value for money: Auditor-General Andrew Greaves". The Age. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  13. ^ Towell, Craig Butt, Noel (21 October 2018). "Another 25 rail level crossings to go under Labor pledge". The Age. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Victoria Government Gazette - No. G 18 Thursday 7 May 2015" (PDF). Victoria Government Gazette. 7 May 2015. p. 74. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Melbourne level crossing removal plan to be fast-tracked, Government says". ABC News. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  16. ^ "About the authority". Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Wyndham Vale Stabling Facility". Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Kananook Train Storage Facility". Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Crossings - Level Crossing Removal Project". Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Mountain Highway level crossing gone". Level Crossing Removal Authority. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Labor Government Removes Eighth Level Crossing In Two Years" (Press release). Melbourne: Premier of Victoria. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Getting on with the job in Glenroy | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Boom! Level crossing gone at Abbotts Road | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Gone for good: Level Crossing Removal Project reaches half way | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  25. ^ a b c Carmody, Broede (1 August 2016). "Frankston line reopens as level crossing program rolls on". The Age. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Cheltenham and Mentone level crossing removals are go | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Skye/Overton Road, Frankston | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Cheltenham and Mentone level crossing removals are go | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Seaford Road, Seaford". Your Level Crossing. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Labor Government Delivers New Train Station In Glen Iris" (Press release). Melbourne: Premier of Victoria. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Grange Road, Alphington | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h "Eight crossings set to go in the north". Level Crossing Removal Authority. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  34. ^ "Major works start at Reservoir | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  35. ^ a b c d "Every Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing gone | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Level Crossings on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  37. ^ a b c White, Alex. "Commuters take first ride on Melbourne's skyrail trains". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  38. ^ a b Galloway, Anthony (2 November 2016). "Melbourne's worst level crossing in St Albans removed after month-long construction blitz". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  39. ^ "Melton Highway, Sydenham | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  40. ^ a b c "Three more level crossings to go in Melbourne's west | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Early end to major works at Kororoit Creek Road | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  42. ^ "25 more level crossing removals | Level Crossing Removal Authority". levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 27 January 2019.