By Casey Neill
“Suburbs like Noble Park have been artificially divided by this train line for a very long time.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said the sky rail project to remove the Heatherton, Chandler and Corrigan roads level crossings would “unify” the suburb.
He visited the work site at Mons Parade on Thursday 13 April to celebrate a 70-tonne Super T beam milestone.
“The first four beams, these horizontal beams we see behind us, were installed just a couple of days ago,” he said.
“They’re the first along this project.
“There are literally hundreds and thousands of these being lifted into place by cranes that have got capacity for up to 300 tonnes.”
They will support the elevated tracks and stations and were made at a pre-cast facility in Melton.
Mr Andrews said the project was on-time and on budget.
“Even with some of the inclement weather we’ve had, we’re hitting our milestones,” he said.
“This’ll be completed by the end of next year.
See the beams being delivered and lifted into place.
“It will literally transform both the experience for road users, for train passengers as well, because this is how you run more trains more often.
“If you try to run additional trains on this line now, then the gates would be down for literally the entirety of the peak.
“That would cause chaos.
“Some of these level crossings the gates are down for 80, 90 minutes in the two-hour peak every morning and every evening.”
The land where the train line currently runs will become community open space.
“It will be a mix of parks and gardens, playing fields, all sorts of other community open space that is currently lost to the community,” he said.
“This is not going to be dark, and all the doomsday talk that we’ve seen from some.
“This is going to be a green open space, one that is much safer, one that is really about unifying suburbs that have been divided for a very long time by a rusty, dangerous corridor, one that has really served no purpose and needs to go.”
Mr Andrews said the elevated rail project was creating 2000 jobs and also included five new train stations.
Time lapse condenses the massive day’s work into a few moments.