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On 2 December 2020, the Victorian State Government announced plans to fast track the removal of the level crossing at Union Road, Surrey Hills. This announcement was welcome news, as this dangerous level crossing was the site of a tragic double fatality in 2016.
The level crossing at Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert within the City of Whitehorse will also be removed at the same time. The new rail line will be constructed in a trench and a single premium train station combining both the existing Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations will be built.
The consolidated station will be located approximately 160 metres east of the existing Surrey Hills station. Car parking at Surrey Hills will be retained and a new open space will be constructed on VicTrack land interfacing with Union Road. Given Council does not own this land, we will continue to advocate to the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) for a public space that enhances the environment, neighbourhood character and meets community needs.
Traffic and parking impacts, February to May 2023
Traffic and parking conditions on streets surrounding the LXRP works areas at Union Road and Mont Albert Road will change while the LXRP gets on with their major construction works. These works may impact your journeys to work, school and sports.
The LXRP have used their powers associated with the project to make changes to roads and parking restrictions. For the three-and-a-half month construction blitz, Council officers will treat the works period as we would school holidays. Council officers will not conduct detailed investigations or make changes to the traffic and parking conditions. This approach recognises the disruption the community is experiencing is an extraordinary event and is not representative of normal conditions.
We encourage residents, visitors and traders to contact the LXRP directly with concerns about parking and traffic, by:
- emailing [email protected], or
- calling 1800 105 105.
Key dates announced for major works in 2023
The Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) has now released important information and key dates about the construction of the rail trench and new station for the Union and Mont Albert Roads level crossing removal.
The ‘Big Dig’ works will take place 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
Works to be completed include:
- removing the old rail line, demolishing Surrey Hills Station, removing the Mont Albert Heritage station for storage and restoration
- completing works to form the walls of the new rail trench
- excavating the trench and spraying concrete onto the walls to fill in the gaps between piles and form a consistent, flat wall
- installing a concrete base slab, including drainage and small piles that secure the base slab in place
- installing the new rail tracks, platforms and station buildings
- constructing new road bridges at Union Road and Mont Albert Road
- building the decks for the new Union Road open space and Mont Albert Heritage Plaza.
Impacts for Surrey Hills residents, shoppers and train travellers
From Monday 30 January 2023 to 17 February 2023, trains travelling towards Lilydale and Belgrave will not stop at Surrey Hills Station. A shuttle bus will be in operation between Chatham, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations.
From the evening of 17 February until late May:
- Trains will no longer run and buses will replace trains. Buses will replace trains between Camberwell and Box Hill, and at some times between Camberwell and Ringwood. The rail replacement bus stop will be located on the corner of Canterbury Road and Union Road.
- Union Road will be closed at the level crossing. Pedestrian access may be provided across the rail line when it is safe to do so. Pedestrian detours will be signposted.
- Local roads may be closed or limited to local access only.
- Shuttle buses will run 24 hours, 7 days a week to transport shoppers between Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Shopping centres stopping on Union Road shops north and south of the rail crossing.
The LXRP will be providing further details through letter drops to residents, resident and trader meetings, local information ‘pop-ups’ at shopping centres and through TV and radio advertising.
For further information call the LXRP Customer Service Line on 1800 500 500. You can also find the latest fact sheets and community updates from LXRP on the Victoria's Big Build website-external site.
Union Station precinct - designs finalised
The LXRP has finalised the designs for Union Station, the new premium station to be built for the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal project. The designs can be seen on the Engage Victoria website-external site and show the station, including the northern and southern entrances and surrounding precinct.
The designs for the new open space and widened bridge at Union Road are being finalised. The open space and deck was announced by the Victorian Government on the 23 March 2022. You can see this announcement on the Victoria's Big Build website-external site.
Supporting local traders
The LXRP has introduced a loyalty program to draw more shoppers to Union Road and Mont Albert Road shopping strips while LXRP works are underway. The ‘Stamp Me’ program, offers shoppers access to special offers at shops that have signed up to the program. For more details visit the Victoria's Big Build website-external site.
There have been significant disruptions to local roads and pedestrian access, clearing of vegetation, and traffic management in the area as crews relocate utilities and prepare for major construction in 2023. We’re working with LXRP and their contractors to review plans and to find ways to minimise the impacts of construction works to the community.
Construction works that are underway include:
- ongoing works and road repairs and machinery movements at the intersection of Montrose Street, Wilson Street and Beresford Road. The intersection will reopen as one lane over the Christmas period.
- sewer testing and installation of rail communications at Robinson Road and Kingston Road
- drainage works in Stirling Crescent
- stormwater works and road repairs on Sunbury Crescent. Intermittent lane and road closures will continue into 2023.
- machinery and road repairs on Bedford Avenue and Blackburn Street.
All residents who are affected by these works should receive a notification from the LXRP. Please contact the LXRP on 1800 105 105 for all questions or concerns about the project and works.
Both station car parks closed
The northern and southern Surrey Hills Station carparks will stay closed until late 2023 to provide machinery laydown areas, and allow for works within the rail trench and facilitate reinstatement works.
Parking restriction changes
The LXRP may change on-street parking restrictions to allow their trucks to move more safely through local streets. Please always check the parking restriction signs to ensure you are parking legally.
- Montrose Street (north side between Union Road and Blackburn Road) - now 'No Stopping'
- Blackburn Road (east side between Montrose Street and Bedford Ave) - now 'No Stopping'.
Council’s role in this project
- Continuing to meet regularly with the LXRP to advocate on behalf of our community.
- Continuing to work with the community and sharing their concerns and ideas with the LXRP.
- Endeavouring to ensure the interests of our community are protected, and construction impacts are minimised where possible.
Community consultation - Union Road open space
In September 2021, Council began consulting the community about the design of new open space and adjacent areas in Union Road. Over 200 people shared their thoughts and ideas through our online surveys and workshops. Your feedback helped us develop the draft Urban Design Advice (UDA) to help guide the LXRP’s design of this space.
In December 2021, we gave the UDA to the LXRP and other stakeholders and advocated for our community’s preferences to be included in the LXRP's designs of the bridge and new open space. The UDA and your efforts encouraged the LXRP to include the 15-metre-wide decking across the rail trench in its designs for Union Road.
This widened bridge will connect the north and south sides of the shopping centre and create more useable open space for everyone to enjoy. After our commitment to contribute $2 million towards the cost of the deck, the Victorian Government has also committed to contribute financially.
For more information about our community consultation, visit our Engage Boroondara page-external site.
|31 May 2023||Boom gates scheduled to be removed. Landscaping works to continue until end of 2023.|
|17 February 2023||LXRP begins major construction push to dig rail trench and construct a new station and other rail assets.|
|30 January 2023||
Buses replace trains for Lilydale and Belgrave passengers at Surrey Hills Station.
|16 May 2022||LXRP released final designs for the new Union Station, station precinct, streetscapes and open spaces for community feedback by 19 June 2022.|
|22 March 2022||The Minister for Transport Infrastructure announced funding for widening the bridge/decking across the rail trench.|
|16 March 2022||The first Construction Liaison Group meeting was held.|
|28 February 2022||
Council endorsement and adoption of our final Urban Design Advice document
|31 January 2022||Surrey Hills train station commuter car parks closed until the end of 2023.|
|2022||Early works underway. Major construction scheduled to start.|
|21 December 2021||Council commits $2m for 15-metre-wide deck across rail trench.|
|30 November to 19 December 2021||Council-led community consultation asking for feedback on our draft Urban Design Advice document.|
|21 November 2021||Construction Liaison Group expressions of interest close.|
|25 October 2021||Early works and utility relocations scheduled to commence.|
|21 October to 21 November 2021||LXRP led consultation on a new name for the station.|
|11 October to 7 November 2021||LXRP led consultation on proposed amendment to the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Level Crossing Removal planning project boundary.|
|6 October 2021||The last Community Reference Group meeting was held.|
|8 September to 28 September 2021||Council led community consultation to help inform our draft Urban Design Advice.|
|9 August 2021||Council endorses a submission to the LXRP and Minister for Planning about the June 2021 design update.|
|4 July 2021||Minister for Planning approves the project boundary and formally removes the Canterbury Sports Ground from the project boundary.|
|14 June to 6 August 2021||LXRP led community consultation on the updated station and precinct designs.|
|14 June 2021||LXRP releases updated station and precinct designs.|
|30 March 2021||The LXRP advise they will not require the Canterbury Sports Ground for project purposes and will remove it from the project area.|
|28 February 2021||Community consultation closes for the planning approvals survey.|
|14 February 2021||
Community consultation closes for the design and local business surveys.
Community Reference Group nominations close.
|8 February 2021||Council endorses a submission to the LXRP and Minister for Planning about the project.|
|21 January 2021||The Premier declares and gazettes the Union Road and Mont Albert Road level crossing removal project under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act (2009).|
|Early 2021||Site investigations, including geotechnical testing commence.|
|2 December 2020||
Victorian Government announces plans to fast track the removal of the Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert level crossings.
Community consultation opens.
Invitations to nominate for the Community Reference Group issued.
Key concerns and opportunities
A Council endorsed submission was presented to the Minister for Planning and the LXRP in February 2021, and a second Council endorsed submission was presented in August 2021. This submission is available to view in the Downloads section below.
Key concerns and opportunities in our submissions include:
- Ensuring the LXRP truly engages with residents, businesses, sports clubs, the community and Council to deliver a best for community outcome.
- Minimising impacts on residents, local businesses, sports clubs and the community during construction.
- Removing the Canterbury Sports Ground from the Planning Project Boundary.
- Capping the trench to provide connectivity across the north and south sides of the rail line at Union Road.
- Delivering high quality walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the proposed Box Hill to Hawthorn trail.
- Ensuring the station and precinct enhances the leafy green environment and sensitively responds to the architecture of Surrey Hills.
- Linking the new station with the shops and businesses along Union Road.
More information about the level crossing removal at Union Road is available on the LXRP website-external site.
For more information, you can contact Clare Davey, Lead Major Project Interface, at [email protected]