What is the Level Crossing Removal Project?

The Victorian Government is removing 50 dangerous and congested level crossings in Melbourne, the largest project of its time in Victoria’s history.

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) has been established to oversee the delivery of this massive project, ensuring that level crossings are removed in a coordinated and efficient manner. Over the past two and a half years, 15 level crossings have been removed and eight train stations upgraded, with 13 other level crossing sites in construction. Up to 28 level crossings will be removed by the end of 2018, with 35 of the 50 removals expected to be completed or underway by this time.

What are the project benefits?

Removing these level crossings will:

• deliver significant safety improvements for drivers and pedestrians
• improve travel around Melbourne – whether you’re a train user, pedestrian, cyclist or driver
• get people home safer and faster
• make our roads more reliable, enabling people to better predict their travel times
• stimulate economic growth by creating thousands of jobs during construction
• revitalise local communities, with many areas benefiting from station rebuilds
• enable more trains to run more often and on time .

Why are you removing the Bell Street level crossing?

The boom gates are down for approximately 27 minutes in the two-hour morning peak (between 7am and
9am), causing delays and leading to congestion for approximately 52,000 road users travelling along
Bell Street each week day.

Besides the time delays, the congestion can also lead to frustration for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and cause them to take risks such as trying to ‘beat’ the red lights and boom gates to avoid delays.

When will works start on the Bell Street level crossing removal?

Consultation on feasible design solutions for the level crossing removal will take place in mid 2018 with construction to start in late 2018.

What does the Bell Street level crossing removal involve?

The project includes the separation of the railway line from the road level to help improve safety and ease
congestion. The project also involves the rebuilding of Bell train station.

Will Bell Station be rebuilt as part of the works?

Yes. The station will be rebuilt as part of the works. Bell Station is the closest station to the Bell Street level crossing. It is a premium station, with a daily patronage of approximately 1,500 people.

Where is the Bell Street, Preston level crossing?

The level crossing is located on Bell Street, between High Street and St Georges Road in Preston. Bell Street is a major east-west road that provides vital connectivity between Heidelberg in the east and
Tullamarine Freeway in the west.

Is the Government looking to combine the level crossing removals on the South Morang line?

The removal of the level crossings at Reservoir and Bell Street, Preston may be coordinated to minimise disruption, maximise benefit and deliver value for money.

Have you decided on the design for the removal of the level crossing at Bell Street?

No. There are several design options when removing a level crossing to separate the road and railway line. These designs include building a railway bridge over the road, lowering the railway line under the road, lowering the road under the railway line or a road bridge over the railway line.

We will investigate several designs before a recommended design is determined. Before then, considerations will include community feedback, urban renewal opportunities, constructability, cost, technical constraints and impacts to rail operations and road traffic.

What will be done before construction starts?

Planning and technical investigation works got underway in 2016 and will continue into 2018. These works include:

• geotechnical investigations (drilling) to learn about the ground conditions
• site surveys, including environmental surveys
• traffic studies
• determining where the existing service utilities are located
• stakeholder engagement
• community updates.

Will the level crossing removal design result in increased noise from trains?

Any impacts on noise will depend on the final design chosen. Noise assessments will be carried out prior
to the start of construction. The project will meet the thresholds set out in the Victorian Government’s
Passenger Rail Infrastructure Noise Policy.

Will there be compulsory acquisition of property as part of this project?

Until the detailed planning process is complete it is too early to know whether there will be impact on private property. Wherever practical, we will aim to avoid the need to acquire private property.

Any land acquisition will be handled in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act.

How can I stay up to date on the level crossing removals? Will I be notified about works that directly affect me?

You can keep track of progress at each site at levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. You can also sign up to receive
email updates about specific level crossing removals, or by connecting with us at facebook.com/levelcrossings or our other social media channels.

Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be kept up to date during the project through a range of:

• letterbox drops and doorknocks
• community drop-in sessions and pop ups at train stations and local trading strips
• local newspaper advertisements
• social media
• onsite information boards and station posters
• 24-hour information lines during construction.