The removal of the level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert has provided the opportunity for the State Government to move immediately to develop the proposed trail along the rail corridor from Box Hill to Hawthorn.
The government announced this week that major construction would start in 2022 and that a single new station would replace the existing stations at Mont Albert and Surrey Hills.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the feasibility study being undertaken into the Hawthorn to Box Hill bike trail connection by the Department of Transport (DoT)
That study had concentrated on the corridor to the west and east of these railway stations.
Now, the Level Crossings Removal Project will be able to incorporate the proposed new trail in its design for this station precinct.
Sections to the west and east can be fitted into the LXRP design as, out following, the construction project.
The Hawthorn to Box Hill connection is a long-standing vision to better connect riders from the east as far as the Yarra River.
And the “east” is a long way out because from Box Hill to Ringwood there is already a rail corridor trail, and there are already proposal to extend it to Croydon.
Although plans are still embryonic, the government is already calling for public input.
"After extensive engineering assessments, we’ve determined the best way to remove these level crossings is to lower the rail line into a trench beneath the roads and combine the existing Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations into a new premium station,” the government states.
"The rail trench design with a new premium station will be safer with better accessibility and deliver more frequent services. There will be entrances at both ends of the station platforms, providing easy access to the station for residents of both Surrey Hills and Mont Albert.
The project will build "new paths which will connect from the shops on Union Road to the new station and through to Mont Albert, making it easier to walk or ride between the two shopping villages. "
"We’ll remove the old underpasses and create new connections at ground level, making it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the tracks."
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