Melbourne level-crossing removal project wins Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award

The team behind Victoria’s Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project, comprising state government agencies and private consultants, has won the Built Environment category in this year’s Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

The $1.6 billion “skyrail” project, designed by Cox Architecture and Aspect Studios, involves the removal of nine level crossings in Melbourne’s south-east and the transformation of previous brownfield rail corridor into 22.5 hectares of new linear park. The parklands are expected to be officially open at the end of 2018.

The new rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong in Melbourne's south-east, designed by Cox Architecture and Aspect Studios.

The new rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east, designed by Cox Architecture and Aspect Studios.

Image: Peter Glenane

It also involves the construction of five new station structures, creating renewed village centres at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park.

Environment and climate minister Lily D’Ambrosio presented the award on 11 October to Aurecon, Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Level Crossing Removal Authority.

The awards’ judges noted the project represented the biggest “re-giving” of land in Melbourne since the opening of the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1846, and provided significant opportunity to maximize ecological outcomes.

“The Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project demonstrates that investment and innovation in infrastructure can provide benefits well beyond standards for rail upgrade projects,” the award citation states. “It has demonstrated an approach that completely transforms, reimagines and connects rail infrastructure and community, and creates holistic sustainability outcomes.”

The new rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong in Melbourne's south-east, designed by Cox Architecture and Aspect Studios.

The new rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east, designed by Cox Architecture and Aspect Studios.

Image: Peter Glenane

The state government established the Level Crossing Removal Authority in May 2015 to oversee the removal of 50 level crossings for an estimated cost of $8.3 billion. All 50 are planned to be removed by 2022.

Now in their sixteenth year, the Premier’s Sustainability Award awards recognize achievement in sustainability across industry, business and community from regional to metropolitan Victoria.

The awards’ overall winners were Yume Food, winning the Premier’s Recognition Award for its work developing an online marketplace for quality surplus food and Gannawarra Shire Council, which won the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for its large-scale solar farm and battery storage program.

Sustainability Victoria chief executive Stan Krpan said, “This year’s finalists and winners come from all sorts of backgrounds and sectors, representing the most wide-ranging projects from the most amount of entries in the awards’ history.

“The diversity of sustainability endeavor we have seen this year, undertaken by every kind of group, organization or business imaginable, is outstanding and we’re delighted that the awards can tell their inspiring stories.”

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