LARGE amounts of contaminated soil built up over more than a century are being removed from former railway land in Wodonga to allow for further redevelopment.
High levels of arsenic, copper, nickel zinc, sodium chloride and nitrate were discovered in and around the former station and goods shed from testing done in late 2011.
Specialist contractors, EESI Contracting from Melbourne, have been appointed by Places Victoria to carry out the remediation works as part of a broader program to prepare the site for ongoing development.
Earth-moving equipment is digging down more than a metre in some places to remove the contaminated soil.
The soil is being deposited at a variety of locations around Victoria as the Environment Protection Authority prevents contaminated soil being transported interstate.
The job is expected to completed by August.
Places Victoria chief executive Peter Seamer said site remediation works began in late February.
“The site’s former use as a rail hub requires work to treat soil conditions across the nearly 10-hectare site to prepare it for future development in line with the Junction Place framework plan,” Mr Seamer said.
“We’ve appointed specialists to ensure that the site is ready for future commercial and residential development.
“These works will require some significant movement of soil within and from the site.
“You will see some heavy earth-moving equipment operating on the site over the next few months.
“These works pose absolutely no risk to the public and are all about appropriately preparing the site for the potential development to come.
“The community asked us to get on with developing Junction Place and that is exactly what we’re doing.”
Groundwater on the site was also found to be contaminated.
The Wodonga railway station closed in June 2011 and is being redeveloped by Places Victoria. A restaurant in the former railway station building is due to open in June.
The old goods shed has also been retained on the site and is undergoing renovation for yet to be secured tenants.