Almost all of the heritage and heritage-style infrastructure at the Lydiard Street level crossing will need to be removed to reopen the road with boom gates, but there's no word on how long this temporary solution will be in place.
A heritage impact report submitted to Heritage Victoria on behalf of V/Line notes the heritage-style swing gates and cast iron posts not destroyed in a train crash in May 2020 must be removed for safety purposes.
In their place, two 7.85m boom gates will be installed, with new RX5 flashing lights and signs, using upgraded signal boxes and four new signalling pits.
These works will take place outside of the station's heritage zone, meaning an application to Heritage Victoria is not necessary.
The report notes "(t)he continued closure of the road is increasingly untenable and the implementation of a temporary solution to re-open the road presents as necessary to ensure the reasonable use of the registered place as a whole".
"A refusal to permit the temporary removal of the posts would prevent the implementation of this temporary solution to the road re-opening," it states.
The boom gates would be a temporary solution, but Save Our Station president Gerald Jenzen said the report raised new concerns.
"I understand the need to open the crossing to traffic," he said.
"It's disappointing that the applicant didn't specify how long temporary was meant to be, it shouldn't be an undefined period."
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He said the application "puts a lie" to the assertion that rail authorities were waiting for an investigation report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is expected to release its findings into the train crash by the end of the year.
He added more investigations should go into retaining the heritage-style swing gates as they were for the permanent solution, instead of putting them on display nearby.
The state government allocated $10.5 million to fixing the level crossing in this year's budget, with a temporary solution to be installed by October and a permanent solution to follow.
The report and preliminary plans are available on the Heritage Victoria website, with public submissions open until August 10.
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