Final designs for the North Williamstown level crossing removal at Ferguson Street have been released by the Level Crossing Removal Project.
The project will see the rail line lowered under the road and a new North Williamstown Station built east of the rail line.
“Carefully configured to fit in with Williamstown’s low-rise streetscapes, the station design features red brick and bluestone, along with a new pedestrian crossing,” the project’s website states. “The main western heritage station building will be retained and used for station operations.”
Project director Tony Hedley said the smaller station building couldn’t be retained.
“At 17.5 metres wide, the rail corridor in this area is simply too narrow to allow us to build a rail trench that would meet modern safety standards while still retaining both buildings,” he said. “We would need a width of at least 23 metres, which we just don’t have at North Williamstown station.”
Williamstown MP Melissa Horne said she knew Williamstown’s character was important to locals and the designs would fit in with the area.
“Months and months of careful work and planning has gone into fine-tuning this design and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition,” she said.
“This is a great project for Williamstown, and I would like to thank each and every member of the community who contributed their feedback.
“A chaotic level crossing has absolutely no place in an area that sees hundreds of kids transiting from train station to school each day. The time has come for it to go.”
New platforms will be accessed from Ferguson Street by stairs, ramps and lifts.
Green space west of the station will be opened up.
A four metre-wide shared cyclist and pedestrian path will be built through the station precinct.
Cyclists will be able to park their bikes in a new secure bike shelter near the Williamstown-bound platform or at bike hoops both sides of the line.
The crossing removal will create 600 full-time jobs at peak construction.
Early works will start in February.
Mid 2021, work will start on excavating a 750-metre trench, removing enough material to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Ferguson Street will be rebuilt over the trench with construction on the new North Williamstown station to follow.
More than 110 trains and 22,000 vehicles pass through the crossing each week day, according to government figures.
The crossing was the scene of a double fatality in the 1990s and has had five near-miss incidents in the past decade.