Works have begun on a new civic space outside of the ABC Centre in Melbourne as part of the Southbank Boulevard upgrade project.
Around 2200 square metres of additional open space will be created as part of the project between Sturt Street and Moore Street.
It is the third stage of the Southbank Boulevard upgrade and will transform an area equivalent of almost two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said COVID-19 restrictions have shown just how vital open space is for people to get fresh air while maintaining physical distance.
“Investing in new parks and public open spaces is a top priority for the City of Melbourne and this project will deliver Southbank residents, workers and visitors with new gardens, seating, lawns and a large area for events,” Capp said.
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“The central stone terrace will be equipped with data and electrical points for outside broadcasts and community event holders can access power.
“The extensive gardens will feature 50 new trees from a variety of species with an iconic River Red Gum as the focal point.”
Capp said upgraded public lighting will ensure the space is welcoming at all times of the day and will provide a sense of security during the evening.
“We want to make this area attractive and welcoming during the day or night so locals, workers and visitors feel safe to enjoy these new gardens, seating areas and lawns,” she said.
Deputy Chair of Major Projects Councillor Nicholas Reece said the transformation of Southbank Boulevard is a key project in City of Melbourne’s 2020-21 capital works program.
“It will take a number of months to demolish and remove the existing roadway, excavate subsurface soil and install the electrical, communications and drainage services,” Reece said
“The new park will then start to take shape as bluestone paving is laid, concrete poured and the lawns and trees planted.”
Capp said there would be some noise and disruption in the first few months of demolition, and some pedestrian detours during construction.