Level Crossing Removal Project
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 to be funded through the privatisation of the Port of Melbourne.
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. These projects were all completed by 1960.
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. Many of the projects also involve the construction of new stations.
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.
In October 2018, LXRA surpassed the State Government’s 2014 election commitment of removing 20 level crossings by 2018, having officially removed 29 crossings. 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.
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.
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 removals
Below is the list of 50 level crossing removals being overseen by the LXRA: Note that two additional crossings will be removed alongside the current 50.
Road Nearest station Line Status Mountain Highway Bayswater Belgrave Completed December 2016 Scoresby Road Bayswater Belgrave Completed December 2016 Blackburn Road Blackburn Belgrave Completed January 2017 Heatherdale Road Heatherdale Belgrave Completed January 2017 Buckley Street Essendon Craigieburn Completed September 2018 Glenroy Road Glenroy Craigieburn Contract awarded Abbotts Road Dandenong Cranbourne Under construction Thompsons Road Lyndhurst Cranbourne Completed June 2018 Centre Road Bentleigh Frankston Completed August 2016 Station Street Bonbeach Frankston Out to tender Mascot Avenue* Bonbeach Frankston Out to tender Station Street Carrum Frankston Out to tender Charman Road Cheltenham Frankston Out to tender Park Road* Cheltenham Frankston Out to tender Edithvale Road Edithvale Frankston Out to tender Skye/Overton Road Frankston Frankston Completed June 2018 McKinnon Road McKinnon Frankston Completed August 2016 Balcombe Road Mentone Frankston Out to tender North Road Ormond Frankston Completed August 2016 Eel Race Road Seaford Frankston Out to tender Seaford Road Seaford Frankston Completed September 2018 Burke Road Gardiner Glen Waverley Completed January 2016 Toorak Road Kooyong Glen Waverley Early planning Grange Road Alphington Hurstbridge Completed May 2018 Lower Plenty Road Rosanna Hurstbridge Completed May 2018 Maroondah Highway Lilydale Lilydale Early planning Manchester Road Mooroolbark Lilydale Early planning Bell Street Preston Mernda Contract awarded High Street Reservoir Mernda Contract awarded Clyde Road Berwick Pakenham Early planning Grange Road Carnegie Pakenham Completed June 2018 Koornang Road Carnegie Pakenham Completed June 2018 Centre Road Clayton Pakenham Completed April 2018 Clayton Road Clayton Pakenham Completed April 2018 South Gippsland Highway Dandenong Pakenham Early planning Hallam Road Hallam Pakenham Early planning Poath Road Hughesdale Pakenham Completed June 2018 Murrumbeena Road Murrumbeena Pakenham Completed June 2018 Chandler Road Noble Park Pakenham Completed February 2018 Corrigan Road Noble Park Pakenham Completed February 2018 Heatherton Road Noble Park Pakenham Completed February 2018 Furlong Road Ginifer Sunbury Completed November 2016 Main Road St Albans Sunbury Completed November 2016 Melton Highway Watergardens Sunbury Completed January 2018 Moreland Road Brunswick Upfield Contract awarded Camp Road Campbellfield Upfield Completed December 2017 Bell Street Coburg Upfield Contract awarded Aviation Road Laverton Werribee Under construction Cherry Street Werribee Werribee Contract awarded Werribee Street Werribee Werribee Contract awarded Kororoit Creek Road Seaholme Werribee Completed July 2018 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.
Road Nearest station Line Status Fitzgerald Road Ardeer Ballarat Unfunded Argyle Avenue Chelsea Frankston Unfunded Chelsea Road Chelsea Frankston Unfunded Swanpool Avenue Chelsea Frankston Unfunded Munro Street Coburg Upfield Unfunded Reynard Street Coburg Upfield Unfunded Mount Derrimt Road Deer Park Ballarat Unfunded Robinsons Road Deer Park Ballarat Unfunded Glen Huntly Road Glenhuntly Frankston Unfunded Neerim Road Glenhuntly Frankston Unfunded Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing Werribee Unfunded Mont Albert Road Mont Albert Lilydale & Belgrave Unfunded Cramer Street Preston Mernda Unfunded Murray Road Preston Mernda Unfunded Oakover Road Bell Mernda Unfunded Gap Road Sunbury Sunbury Unfunded Union Road Surrey Hills Lilydale & Belgrave Unfunded
- “About – Level Crossing Removal Project”. Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Abolition of Busy Level Crossings” Railway Gazette 13 August 1954 page 176
- “Abolishing Level Crossings in Victoria” Railway Gazette 30 December 1955 pages 769-771
- “Abolition of Level Crossings in Victoria” Railway Gazette 4 November 1960 pages 539/540
- “Infrastructure” Railway Gazette International July 2009 page 14
- Rail line boost already on track Herald Sun 28 November 2011
- Springvale road and rail grade separation Arup
- Carey, Adam (26 October 2015). “Level crossings: VicRoads list of Melbourne’s worst overlooked by Labor”. The Age. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- Promise Delivered: Port Of Melbourne Leased To Remove Level Crossings And Create Thousands Of Jobs Premier of Victoria 19 September 2016
- Carey, Adam (14 December 2017). “Level crossing removal program poor value for money: Auditor-General Andrew Greaves”. The Age. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- Towell, Craig Butt, Noel (2018-10-21). “Another 25 rail level crossings to go under Labor pledge”. The Age. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- “Andrews pledges 25 new level crossing removals in Melbourne”. ABC News. 2018-10-21. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- “Victoria Government Gazette – No. G 18 Thursday 7 May 2015” (PDF). Victoria Government Gazette. 7 May 2015. p. 74. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Melbourne level crossing removal plan to be fast-tracked, Government says”. ABC News. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “About the authority”. Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Crossings – Level Crossing Removal Project”. Level Crossing Removal Authority. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Labor Government Removes Eighth Level Crossing In Two Years” (Press release). Melbourne: Premier of Victoria. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Mountain Highway level crossing gone”. Level Crossing Removal Authority. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Gone for good: Level Crossing Removal Project reaches half way | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- Carmody, Broede (1 August 2016). “Frankston line reopens as level crossing program rolls on”. The Age. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Skye/Overton Road, Frankston | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- “Seaford Road, Seaford”. Your Level Crossing. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
- “Labor Government Delivers New Train Station In Glen Iris” (Press release). Melbourne: Premier of Victoria. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- “Grange Road, Alphington | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- “Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- “Every Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing gone | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- “Level Crossings on Twitter”. Twitter. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
- White, Alex. “Commuters take first ride on Melbourne’s skyrail trains”. The Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- 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.
- “Melton Highway, Sydenham | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- “Early end to major works at Kororoit Creek Road | Level Crossing Removal Authority”. levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-07-27.