An environmental assessment has found that two dangerous level crossings on Frankston line in Edithvale and Bonbeach in Victoria, Australia, can be eliminated using a trench without threatening the Ramsar-listed Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.
Presented by the Level Crossing Removal Authority in an environment effect statement (EES), authorised by Victoria Minister for Planning Richard Wynne, the engineering designs will reduce any environmental impact and manage groundwater flows during the construction phase.
Pending planning and environmental approvals, removal of the level crossings and constructing two stations are both expected to conclude by 2022.
Work will be carried out under the Government of Victoria’s A$2bn ($1.4bn) investment on the Frankston line that will see the removal of 13 level crossings and developing ten new stations.
Wynne said: “The Level Crossing Removal Authority provided a comprehensive environment effects statement, and my assessment is that the projects can be built and operated with acceptable environmental outcomes.”
The EES received 248 submissions from the public following a public consultation earlier this year.
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An independent committee of planning and environment specialists reviewed the submissions and made recommendations to Wynne.
Once Wynne completes his assessment, formal approvals for the projects will be sought. Approvals will also be sought for some of environmental performance requirements to help safeguard the environment.
In addition, the Seaford Road level crossing will be removed as part of the A$2bn ($1.4bn) investment on Frankston line. The work is scheduled to be complete by the end of this month.
Work on the A$10m ($7m) revitalisation of Seaford is expected to begin later this year, while geotechnical work has already been started in Carrum to assist the removal of three level crossings, build a new station, and other works.