BOOM GATES: IT’S A WRAP
Boom gates at Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler Roads are gone forever after construction teams moved in this week to dismantle the red and white gates along with bells and signage.
Traffic is now flowing freely along all three roads, which is used by almost 45,000 motorists per day. Each and every one of those drivers can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Construction crews aren’t celebrating quite yet, however. The three dangerous and congested level crossings won’t officially be removed until mid-February, when trains will start running along a 1.5-kilometre section of new elevated rail.
While the final touches on the new track take place, buses are replacing trains between Westall and Dandenong.
From 15 February, commuters will be able to catch a train from Noble Park station – though works will continue through February and March to fully fit out the modern, new look facility.
Anticipation is mounting in the area, with crowds of 50 or more taking part in walking tours this week led by the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
Residents and small businesses in Noble Park are severely inconvenienced by the current ground level rail line, which divide the community and cut off key shops and services on either side of the tracks.
Previously, boom gates had been down for up to 73 minutes in each two-hour morning peak.
Later this year, more than eight hectares of public space will be opened underneath the elevated track, allowing people to walk freely along and across the rail corridor. Meanwhile, a new north-south link road and 100 new car spaces will mean better access for drivers.
In preparation for the landscaping works to start, crews have started ripping out old tracks and removing old stony ballast from this section of the train line.
A community “thank you” day will also be held on Saturday 24 February from 9:00am-midday at Ross Reserve, with kids’ rides, a free sausage sizzle and information about the next phase of revitalisation works.