Skyrail segments for the controversial level crossing removal works between Caulfield and Dandenong stations are to be built at a manufacturing hub in Pakenham.
The immense 5.4 hectare pre-cast yard development is in the process of being erected on Kooweerup Road, just south of the Princes Freeway.
Construction began in May, with notable signs of rapid development over the past month.
About 2500 concrete segments will be built at the Pakenham site that forms part of the $1.6 billion Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project for an elevated rail line.
Once the project is complete there will be no level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong train stations on the Pakenham line.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) plans to transport the locally casted 3 x 5.5 x 3.2 metre concrete segments – typically weighing about 30 tonnes – in trucks to site using an “advanced engineering feat”.
Two huge gantry cranes will install the concrete segments by moving back and forth in the air, while trains continue running below to minimise disruption to commuters.
The Pakenham site was chosen due to its proximity to major freeway links and suitable land availability in an industrial area close to LXRA worksites.
LXRA project director Brett Summers said the casting and manufacturing of the segments in Pakenham would support local manufacturing and transport jobs.
The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project will create 2000 jobs overall during construction.
“Choosing Pakenham for this pre-cast facility will support local industry and create local jobs,” Mr Summers said.
“Pakenham will be the key manufacturing hub for the level crossing removals between Caulfield and Dandenong, playing a vital role in reducing congestion, improving safety and delivering more services for local passengers.”
Segment production will commence before the end of the year and the Gazette understands that the segments are to be built over a period of two-and-a-half years.
The LXRA failed to respond to the Gazette’s request for a total costing and for information about what the pre-casting yard would be used for after manufacturing the skyrail segments.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.