Williamstown crossing removal to start in February

Construction on the Ferguson Street level crossing removal project in Williamstown will start in February with designs now finalised to decrease congestion and keep the community safe.

The dangerous and congested level crossing – used by more than 25,000 vehicles per day and more than 110 trains – is the source of significant safety concerns for residents and schools.

The $192 million contract will create 600 local full-time jobs at peak construction, awarded to an alliance comprising McConnell Dowell, Arup, Mott McDonald, Metro Trains and the Level Crossing Removal Project.

Construction partners are ready to deliver the project, which involves lowering the rail line under the road and building a brand-new North Williamstown Station.

Once construction teams are up and running on site, their first major task will be to excavate a 750-metre trench through hard basalt rock and clay, removing enough material to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools.

From there they will rebuild Ferguson Street over the new trench, lay tracks beneath the road and build the new North Williamstown Station. Construction for this massive undertaking will require a three-month closure of the rail line in late 2021.

Designs unveiled today contain final tweaks to the station and surrounding precinct, carefully configured to fit in with Williamstown’s low-rise streetscapes. 

Red brick and bluestone – some reused from the current station precinct – will feature throughout, along with new open space and an additional pedestrian crossing. The main western heritage station building will be retained.

The local community embraced opportunities to shape the project, responding in force with more than 1,800 surveys completed across three rounds of consultation.

Locals are now being encouraged to head online to a new ‘virtual information room’ containing detailed images and insights into the project and its designs.

With 44 level crossings already gone for good, the Victorian Government is well on track to smash its commitment to remove 50 crossings by 2022, and 75 by 2025.