Victoria’s state government in Australia has awarded a contract to a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, Jacobs and Metro (MTM) for the Toorak Road level crossing removal in Kooyong, Melbourne.

Under the contract, the alliance partners will complete construction of a rail bridge over Toorak Road with an investment of around A$89m ($61.85m).

The government first announced the Toorak Road level crossing removal in February this year. During the community consultation, conducted in May this year, the overwhelming majority of people supported removal of the level crossing.

The new design of the Level Crossing Removal Project includes installation of traffic lights next to a realigned Talbot Crescent and provisions of separate crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Traffic lights will also coordinate with the intersection lights on the Monash Freeway to facilitate smooth traffic flow and help those turning onto Toorak Road from side streets.

The consortium has already removed the level crossing at Grange Road in Alphington and Lower Plenty Road in Rosanna.

In addition, they have duplicated the Hurstbridge line between Rosanna and Heidelberg, including construction of the new Rosanna station.

Minister for transport and infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “Awarding the contract is a significant step towards removing this major bottleneck which will slash travel times for tens thousands of people every day to get them where they need to be safer and sooner.”

Nearly 37,000 vehicles pass through the Toorak Road level crossing daily, with boom gates down for 35% of the morning peak.

Alongside cutting travel time, the project is expected to make the area safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. It will also give hassle-free access to the Monash Freeway and City Link via Toorak Road.

The Victorian Government said the elevated design is the only feasible solution based on engineering assessments. It will minimise rail and road disruption, as well as remove the level crossing as quickly as possible.

Early works are scheduled to commence in the coming weeks while the level crossing will be removed by 2021.