By Mikayla van Loon
There will be some major changes to the way people can travel on the Lilydale train line as works once again ramp up on the Level Crossing Removal projects for the completion deadline at the end of October.
A 45 day construction blitz is expected to start on 10 September, causing a number of disruptions on both the train line and surrounding roads in Lilydale and Mooroolbark.
“We know the next few months are going to be disruptive to train passengers, road users and the community and we’d like to thank them for their patience while our teams work to remove these dangerous and congested level crossings,” Level Crossings program director Steve Brown said.
Buses will replace trains from 10 September on the Lilydale line, with passengers able to board replacement buses at Lilydale and Mooroolbark stations to then catch a train at Ringwood.
Lilydale train station will also close to passengers from 10 September to 24 October while the new station is built for passengers to begin using on 25 October.
Road closures will occur on two major arterial roads in Lilydale and Mooroolbark.
Manchester Road in Mooroolbark will be closed at times during September and October, with a 13 day closure in October.
From 10 to 14 September and then again from 4 to 17 October, Manchester Road between Brice Avenue and Winyard Drive will be closed.
The east-bound lane on Brice Avenue will also be closed throughout September and October, although road users will still be able to use the west-bound lane and are advised to use Charles Street and Bathurst Street.
Maroondah Highway and John Street in Lilydale will close at the level crossing from 9pm 10 September until 6am 9 October.
Changes at the station car parks in Lilydale and Mooroolbark will continue throughout the year until early 2022.
While these disruptions will be unpleasant, works on the level crossings have been moving steadily with around 650 crew working on the projects.
The next few months will be filled with activity and progress across both stations and commuters will be able to see a noticeable difference in the building works.
“We’ve made excellent progress to date and we look forward to continuing to shape these rail bridges and new stations, which will benefit the community for years to come with better safety, eased congestion and more open space at both locations,” Mr Brown said.
The new stations will include modern facilities, as well as open spaces and walking and cycling connections.
Part of the design feature of the new stations means they will produce 45 per cent less carbon and use 70 per cent less water, as well as using concrete that has a high percentage of recycled material.
To date, the Level Crossing Removal Authority has lifted 28 beams into place at Manchester Road, with 56 required to build the rail bridge.
While at Lilydale, 28 of the 36 beams have been lifted in place, with the rest to be installed while buses replace trains.