Fitzroy Street upgrade

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By Alexandra Duffy

Port Phillip City Council is currently in progress for the Fitzroy Street upgrade, the construction will be carried out between July and October.

“Fitzroy Street is one of our most vibrant places, we are trying to do the work during the winter and spring time so we can minimise disruption and be ready for the Fitzroy festival in summer,” said Deputy Mayor Bernadene Voss.

Due to heavy construction there will be impact to footpaths, parking will decrease and relocation to tram stop 133. The council is hoping for minimal disturbance and will compensate for limited parking.

“We are hoping for minimal impacts and hoping that the free parking component will hopefully offset any inconvenience for residents,” said Voss.

The council has dedicated a lot of time and money into this project; it will be improved with new landscaping, lighting, street paving, furniture and artwork.

“In 2009 there was a Fitzroy planning scheme that was released and since then the plan was to refine and design, to secure permits and contact construction workers,” said Voss.

The Port Phillip City Council is applying for state government funding in order to install up to ten CCTV cameras in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.

“While not a panacea, CCTV can be a useful tool to add to our well-considered action plan,” said Mayor Amanda Stevens.

Upon the new renovation scheme, the council has commissioned Alex Goad, an up-and-comer artist, who is to create a piece near the corner of Fitzroy and Jackson Street.

“I won the commission for the upgrade, the brief was to really enlighten that area of Fitzroy, it’s always been quite a dark and dingy area,” said Goad.

To incorporate artwork came out of the consultation questions of what does Fitzroy Street need and two subjects came out of that question and that were lighting and artwork. The number one improvement response was adding more lighting to the area,” said Voss.

The piece titled Tethya will be 2.7 meters high and will glow at night-time. Tethya is a piece of sponge that grows under the St Kilda pier inspired the piece, representing the geological change that is occurring. It is a locally referenced piece of art.

“What I’m creating is a concrete sculpture that will be lit up from inside, it’s going to be this central piece that people will be able to come up and interact with,” said Goad.

The upgrade will allow more artists to showcase their work and talent and will be able to perform in the local area.

“I think Alex’s piece is going to be a visually stunning work of art which will glow at night and give an ambiance to the street,” said Voss.

The set release of the Goads’ work is October, whereas the entirety of the upgrade will be done around early November, there is no set date at this time.

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