A section of the Melton Highway will close for four days as work ramps up on the removal of the level crossing in Sydenham.
Between Friday, July 28, and Monday, July 31, the highway will close and detours will be in place while bridge beams are built over the Sunbury/Bendigo railway line.
Train services will be suspended between Sunbury and Sunshine stations, with buses replacing trains.
Four bus routes – the 425, 460, 462 and 476 – will not be able to cross the Melton Highway level crossing. Instead, buses will take passengers to and from Watergardens station, where they will have to cross the tracks to meet buses waiting on the other side.
Road detours will also be in place over that weekend.
The closure, which will come into effect at 8pm on the Friday and remain until 8am on the Monday, will allow construction crews to lower train power lines and install the first sections of the new road bridge.
The $46 million project will remove the level crossing and widen the Melton Highway to three lanes by late next year.
The level crossing is considered one of the state’s most dangerous and a major cause of peak hour traffic chaos, with boom gates down for about a quarter of the morning peak.
Last week, Fairfax revealed that more than $20 million would be spent spruiking the level crossing removal program to counter a backlash against the project in some communities.
Late last year, when plans emerged of the “sky bridge” planned to replace the Sydenham level crossing, residents spoke out about the “cheap” and “invasive” option the state government had chosen, claiming proper community consultation had not been undertaken.
Internal Andrews government documents seen by Fairfax reveal the $20 million will be funnelled into print, radio, online, outdoor and television advertising.
So far advertisements for the projects have included lavish animations and time-lapse videos.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority will hold all-day information sessions at Watergardens Town Centre, near Bakers Delight, on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23, to discuss the project’s impacts.