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Level Crossing Removal Project Caulfield to Dandenong

By

  • COX Architecture
  • ASPECT Studios
  • Level Crossing Removal Projects
  • CPB Contractors
  • Lendlease Engineering

Description

The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal project involved removal of nine dangerous level crossings and the creation of five new elevated railway stations along one of Melbourne’s busiest transport corridors, considerably improving a major barrier to urban permeability, decreasing road congestion, improving links between suburbs and improving freedom of movement and general day-to-day quality of life.

Representing a quantum leap in the approach to the delivery of Melbourne’s public transport infrastructure, this project created an opportunity to transform the metropolitan transportation zone, providing distinct new integrated urban nodes and human-scale public realm connections between stations, villages and neighbourhoods.

Key Features

1

Removing nine level crossings allowed a bespoke solution that reduced road congestion and safety issues, contributed to improved rail capacity within growing hubs along one of Melbourne’s busiest transport corridors.

The project presented opportunities for significant transformation including:
– A ‘split’ viaduct solution to separate tracks, reduce visual bulk and reclaim 22.5hectares of open space as a linear recreational zone with a series of urban activation nodes
– Design of five architecturally identifiable railway stations
– Physically and socially ‘stitching’ neighbourhoods together
– Creating distinct urban public environments that link to history, adjacent open spaces and opportunities for fitness, play and activation.

2

Holistic, multidisciplinary design achieved innovative industry, financial, environmental and end-user outcomes including:

– Connecting high-growth residential areas and key education and employment hubs to the city.
– Added value to each village and activity centre through improved connectivity and main street activation.
– Station precincts and linear parks improve public amenity in adjacent communities
– Disruptions during construction were carefully planned to minimise disturbances to residents, traders and communities
– Prefabrication allowed quicker and safer construction and strategic scheduling and staging to produce quantifiable program and cost benefits
– Energy-efficient measures reduce energy demand and maintenance costs

3

The design team of architects and landscape architects worked closely with the engineering disciplines to deliver a fully integrated infrastructure project with added public benefit, with community forums ensuring resident’s aspirations were heard, with some consultation-generated ideas turning into tangible design outcomes.

Creating Australia’s first elevated rail project with a continuous public realm beneath was challenging. It was the first of its kind and changed the standard approach within the infrastructure sector.

The success of the design-led transformation is multifaceted – the project set a precedent for high-quality integrated design and a benchmark for Victorian rail infrastructure, changing community perceptions and demonstrating the myriad benefits of elevated rail.

4

The project incorporated best practise and modern design solutions. Extensive research, optioneering and advocacy produced solutions to challenges and obtained buy-in from communities and other key stakeholders.

Representing a new rail typology for Victoria, collaboration was critical to develop new solutions for unique challenges. An integrated design approach achieved outcomes whereby infrastructure is now a key part of public realm.

This collaborative approach was central to maximising opportunities for station design, public transport connections, pedestrian connectivity, new urban civic spaces, parklands and integrated sustainability.

5

The project is a legacy for the people of Melbourne and Victoria that provides improved environmental sustainability, better connectivity, new urban renewal opportunities while considering future transport options.

– Rejuvenated and connected local villages
– Reuse of local materials imbue each location with connection to place.
– Catchment areas on roofs and structures capture and reuse water along the rail corridor.
– Stations were carefully designed to provide protection from the prevailing weather while meeting the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
– The linear park delivers immediate public value (play, fitness, gathering, heritage, sport) and provides valuable open space and urban parkland for future generations.

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