Melbourne’s inner north suburbs will see eight level crossing removals in Coburg, Brunswick and Preston.
The State Government has committed to an elevated rail design that will see the removal of four crossings on the Upfield line and another four on the Mernda line.
The crossings in Coburg will be removed by next year and major works will start in Preston in 2020 to be finished by 2021.
“This is part of a huge investment in the inner north creating jobs and better connections for those living and working in these communities,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan said.
It is estimated around 150,000 vehicles pass through the eight level crossings each day.
Boom gates can be down for up to 40 per cent of the two-hour morning peak.
Construction to remove two level crossings in the south east on the Pakenham line will also start within a year.
The timings for the removal of level crossings at Clyde Road in Berwick and Cardinia Road in Pakenham have been announced.
The Clyde Road crossing works will start in 2020 and are expected to be finished by 2022.
Removal works at Cardinia Road have now been fast tracked to start later this year and are expected to be finished in 2021.
The crossing at Clyde Road in Berwick is the source of delays for ambulances travelling to Casey Hospital.
At these south east crossings, boom gates are down for around one third of the two-hour morning peak, delaying 45,000 vehicles.
Nine level crossings have so far been removed on the Pakenham line.
“One by one, we’re getting rid of every single level crossing in Pakenham – freeing up space to run more trains and helping people get home safer and sooner,” Jacinta Allan said.
There will be opportunity for locals to provide feedback and share ideas for the use of new open spaces in the north and information sessions for locals in the south east.