Underground construction works will block off one side of Melbourne’s Flinders Street station for the next three years as crews work to deliver an underground connection to the future Town Hall Station.
The extended closure began on 21 July, allowing major work to begin on the new interchange under Flinders Street, between Swanston and Degraves Streets.
From 2 September, this will be extended to include both eastbound lanes on Flinders Street between Elizabeth and Swanston streets.
Pedestrian and vehicle access will continue for local businesses and residents, with footpaths to remain open along the construction site. A new pedestrian crossing to be established to the west of Degraves Street, to allow pedestrians to access the nearby tram stop. The full footpath is expected to reopen to pedestrians in late 2020.
Traffic lights will be modified to increase capacity at key intersections while the road network will be monitored to respond to traffic incidents or congestion. Variable message signs will be placed at strategic locations to provide information about alternative routes.
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The number of truck movements on Swanston Street is set to halve to 100 during peak construction in late 2020, as a result of the closure.
The Metro Tunnel Project aims to create more capacity for more than half a million passengers a week across Melbourne’s train network during peak period.
Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister, Jacinta Allan, said the closure is significant but must be done.
“It’s the only way to build this vital underground connection between Flinders Street and the Metro Tunnel station,” Allan said.
“We know how disruptive this major construction will be so we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruptions and impacts on local residents, businesses and people visiting the city.
“This is the biggest public transport project ever built in Victoria and it will benefit Victorians every single day – and we’re getting on with it.”