The Victoria government in Australia has awarded a contract to two groups to remove three rail level crossings in the state.
A sum of A$349.8m has been allocated by the Victorian government in its 2012-13 budget to carry out the projects, which involve the removal of two level crossings in Mitcham and a third crossing in Springvale.
Both projects aim to enable traffic to flow smoothly on these major roads, as well as improving safety.
John Holland in an alliance with VicRoads, Metro Trains Melbourne, KBR and Public Transport Victoria will be responsible for delivering the Mitcham Road Rooks Road Rail Separation Project.
Out of the total contract, around $140m has awarded to the John Holland-led group for removing two unsafe rail level crossings in Mitcham to ensure safer travel and improve journey times.
The scope of work for John Holland and its partners will include two grade separations by lowering the railway beneath Mitcham Road and Rooks Road, as well as the realignment and construction of two new tracks to the south of the tracks in the current rail corridor and the construction of a new premium station.
Work under the Mitcham Road Rooks Road Rail Separation Project is scheduled to start in May 2013 and is expected to be completed by June 2014.
The Springvale Road project will be carried out by a group of companies comprising McConnell Dowell, Balfour Beatty Rail and Parsons Brinckerhoff / Beca and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Victoria Premier Dr Denis Napthine said that each day thousands of vehicles and hundreds of train services pass through these three crossings with the boom gates down for nearly half of the morning peak.
"Effectively blocking these major roads for half of the morning peak is not only enormously frustrating and costly for motorists, it also poses a significant safety risk," Napthine said.
Victoria Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said that the projects will create at least 140 new jobs and hundreds more indirectly over the course of construction.
"At the Springvale Road level crossing approximately 8,000 vehicles, 1,000 pedestrians and 140 train services pass through during peak times each day, with the boom gates down for 42% of the morning peak," Mulder said.
"At Mitcham, approximately 16,000 vehicles and 200 train services pass through the crossing daily, with the boom gates down for more than 45% of the morning peak."