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Major blitz has early finish for Cheltenham and Mentone

  • In a major milestone for the Southern Program Alliance (SPA), the construction blitz to remove three dangerous and congested level crossings and build two new stations finished early, enabling trains on the Frankston line to return to service a week earlier than planned.
  • In addition, the new Mentone Station opened two weeks ahead of schedule. The eight-week occupation was the largest rail occupation to date undertaken as part of the level crossing removal program of works.

Construction of the new station at Cheltenham remains on schedule to open mid-August. Finishing touches on the stations, landscaping, and work on the 3.5 kilometre walking and cycling path between Cheltenham and Mentone will continue until late 2020.

The mammoth task, which started on 23 May and finished on 20 July 2020, involved a team of 1,700 workers with crews working around the clock to pour more than 15,000 cubic metres of concrete, install almost 7,000 tonnes of steel reinforcing, and lay 25,000 tonnes of ballast.

During the two-month construction blitz, more than 200,000 cubic metres of material was excavated from the 2.1 kilometres of rail trenches to lower the Frankston line under Park and Charman roads in Cheltenham and Balcombe Road in Mentone.

Benefits to the local community were quick with roads reopening boom gate free in mid-June, resulting in reduced traffic congestion and safer local roads. Previously, the boom gates at Cheltenham and Mentone could be down for up to 49 minutes in the morning peak – causing delays and frustration for the 38,000 vehicles that cross the rail line each day.

Sustainability targets were also a key feature of this project with 60% water saving achieved at Mentone due to the installation of a rainwater tank for the heritage gardens and 45% water saving achieved at Cheltenham for rainwater collection to irrigate the new landscaping. A 40% reduction in peak electrical demand will be achieved at Mentone Station and at Cheltenham Station by installing solar systems, and significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions will see Mentone Station having 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than the old station and Cheltenham Station will have 50% less emissions than the old station.

Work continued throughout the 8-week occupation with strict safety measures, supporting jobs and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for more information about this project.

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