We are now just over halfway through our major construction blitz on the AWP1 Level Crossing Removal Occupation. We have been remarkably busy with our crews working around the clock at various Cheltenham and Mentone job sites. Our progress so far includes, three level crossings which have now been successfully removed, two in Cheltenham, Park Road and Charman Road. As well as the Balcombe Road Level Crossing in Mentone. During this time there have been major works, excavating the trenches, removing the three crossings together and building a new rail line while also providing minimal disruption to commuters. There has been massive excavation with over 200,000 cubic metres of soil removed which is equivalent to more than 74 Olympic sized swimming pools!
Once the excavation was completed it was reinforced with over 4000 cubic metres of concrete which has made way for signalling infrastructure, so that the laying of the new rail tracks can begin. The lowering of the rail into the trenches has allowed for the construction of the new stations to begin and for the roads to stay at the current level. Lots of local residents have been down to watch the works from the footpaths in Charman and Park Road.
All three roads have now been reopened. This means that commuters in Cheltenham no longer have to be delayed during the morning peak when the boom gates would sometimes be down for up to 48 minutes, travelling is now safer and easier.
The next stage will be for the trains to be back up and running which should be by the end of July followed by the opening of the new stations, along with the refurbished stations that are heritage listed. The new stations are due to open over the month of August.
We look forward to seeing out the completion of this project and the benefits that it will bring to the community.