By Laura Michell
Work to remove two notorious level crossings in Brimbank will begin this year.
The state government this afternoon announced it had awarded a $234 million contract to remove the much-maligned crossings at Fitzgerald Road in Ardeer and Deer Park’s Robinsons Road to an alliance of Fulton Hogan, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Level Crossing Removal Project.
The removal of the crossings is being fast tracked, with work expected to be completed in 2023.
According to the state government, the removal of the crossings will create 400 full-time jobs at peak construction.
The level crossings have been the subject of community concern and have a questionable safety record with 18 near misses since 2012, according to figures provided by the state government.
The sites have also been the subject of huge delays and frustration for the 53,000 commuters and freight vehicles that travel through them each day – with boom gates down for up to 45 per cent of the morning peak when up to 37 trains run through the crossings.
The Robinsons Road level crossing will be removed with a road underpass, and the Fitzgerald Road level crossing with a road overpass.
The government said that the designs to remove the level crossings will minimise disruption to rail commuters, residents and local businesses during construction and allow future road and rail upgrades.
Kororoit MP Marlene Kairouz said removing the “dangerous and congested” level crossings will get people home sooner and safer, and support the economy.
Removing the level crossing will also pave the way for the nearby Mount Derrimut Road level crossing to be removed by 2025, removing the last of the level crossings between Deer Park and the city, according to the state government.
Early works on the removal of the Fitzgerald Road and Robinsons Road level crossings will start this month, with major construction to kick off later in the year.