Traffic changes and major construction will start soon as works to build a Metro Tunnel station entrance on the corner of one of Melbourne’s most iconic intersections get underway.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced that work to build an entrance at Federation Square for the new underground Town Hall Station would commence shortly, with relevant approvals in place, and would result in changes to traffic conditions for an extended period.
Flinders Street, next to Federation Square, will be reduced by one traffic lane westbound between Russell and Swanston streets for up to four years from later this year. The lane closure is necessary to allow the station entrance to be safely constructed.
Federation Square sits over a working railway and the deck cannot withstand the weight of the massive machinery needed to build the station. Closing one lane will allow crews to operate heavy equipment while traffic continues to flow.
Drivers will still have one left-turning lane from Flinders Street into St Kilda Road, and one lane travelling ahead. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and allow up to an extra 15 minutes if travelling through this stretch of Flinders Street.
Pedestrian access around the intersection and to Federation Square’s businesses, restaurants, cafes and bars will be maintained. Bicycle access will also be maintained, with the St Kilda Road bike lane realigned.
Site establishment works are expected to get underway on the north-west corner of Federation Square, shortly.
Geotechnical investigations will also be undertaken and ramps providing disability access around the site will be built. During this time there will be some temporary traffic changes to Flinders Street. Works to demolish the former Melbourne Visitor Centre to make way for the station entrance will follow.
From next year, following the completion of piling works, an acoustic shed will be built over the site to reduce noise, dust and light from 24/7 excavation and tunnelling. Cross Yarra Partnership has lodged a heritage permit application for works. All works at Federation Square will be undertaken with the relevant approvals.
Town Hall Station will make it easier for people to reach some of Melbourne’s key tourist destinations including Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Southbank, the Arts Centre and CBD shopping. The station will have a direct underground connection to Flinders Street Station, so passengers can connect seamlessly with City Loop services.
The $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project is the largest investment in public transport in Victoria’s history. It will free up space in the City Loop for an additional 504,000 peak passengers each week across the network.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We are getting on with building the urgently needed Metro Tunnel, so thousands of people can get to and from the suburbs every day.”
“These works will be disruptive but they are absolutely necessary to build the Metro Tunnel as safely and quickly as possible.”