Big Build heats up this winter

The biggest level crossing removal blitz in Victoria’s history will be undertaken this winter, as work ramps up on major projects across the city and Victorians continue to do their part to slow the spread of coronavirus.

A three-and-a-half month construction blitz will remove four level crossings on the Upfield line at Munro, Reynard and Bell streets, and Moreland Road.

Between 28 July and until 15 November, more than 1,000 people will work around the clock to elevate almost two kilometres of rail line and build two new stations, reducing congestion for tens of thousands of motorists.

Buses, including express services, will replace trains between Anstey and Upfield for most of this time, and for the length of the Upfield line for the first and last weeks of the works. 

However, a new turnback facility at Anstey will allow trains to continue between Anstey and the city, meaning about half of all Upfield line commuters will be largely unaffected.

Two months of construction on the Frankston line will begin later this week, as rail trenches are excavated and new stations built ahead of the removal of level crossings at Park and Charman Roads in Cheltenham, and Balcombe Road in Mentone. 

Buses will replace trains between Moorabbin and Mordialloc stations during this period, with dedicated school buses for the 14,500 students in the area.

There will also be significant level crossing removal works over winter in Lyndhurst, Pakenham, Berwick, Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Mooroolbark and Lilydale.

Work on the state’s largest road project – North East Link – will mean changes to local traffic conditions along Greensborough Road and Bulleen Road as crews move more than 34 kilometres of gas, water, sewer pipes and drains to pave the way for major construction in 2021. 

A long weekend closure of the Hume Freeway in Epping will also be needed in June to build a new interchange as part of the O’Herns Road upgrade.

From early June for up to two years, vehicles travelling on St Kilda Road will no longer be able to turn left into Flinders Street, ensuring pedestrians and road users are safely separated as construction ramps up on Metro Tunnel’s Town Hall Station. Trams will not run along Flinders Street between Elizabeth and Russell Streets from 5 to 11 July, with other minor local shuts during this time.

A range of track renewal and maintenance works will take place in the CBD and on the regional train network on the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines. The Sunbury Line Upgrade will also continue in late June with major track, power and platform upgrades to enable more modern trains to run on the line when the Metro Tunnel opens.

In June, the Frankston-Dandenong Road and Thompsons Road intersection will close so crews can do four months’ work in five weeks. There will be intermittent lane and ramp closures on the Monash Freeway as part of the Monash Freeway Upgrade, and overnight lane and ramp closures on the M80 Ring Road from Sydney Road to Edgars Road.

West Gate Tunnel works will continue in Melbourne’s west during June and July, with more ramp and overnight closures on the West Gate Freeway and works on Footscray Road to build the piers for the new elevated road.

There is a full weekend closure of the Princes Freeway planned for mid to late June to demolish the old Duncans Road bridge as part of the Duncans Road upgrade. Motorists are advised to be prepared for delays of up to an hour.

More than 15,000 workers on the Big Build are subject to strict health and safety measures, including changing work practices to reduce staff contact and enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.

Replacement buses will also be closely monitored, both to manage passenger numbers and ensure regular cleaning of buses and key touch points to keep passengers and drivers safe. Passengers should practice good hand hygiene and maintain physical distancing when possible and should not travel if they are feeling unwell.

For more information about the massive program of work on Victoria’s transport network, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au.