Years of gridlock ahead on St Kilda Road

By  |  0 Comments

By Daniel Wilson

Thundering jackhammers at 8 am mark the beginning of construction of the Melbourne Metro project at St Kilda Rd. Years of gridlock lie ahead with the underground rail tunnel not scheduled to go into operation until 2026.

The stretch of St Kilda Rd between Park St and Toorak Rd will be impacted for the next two to three years with the six-lane thoroughfare reduced to two lanes for cars. St Kilda Road will see up to 250 trucks in and out every day.

Cyclists will still enjoy a dedicated bike-path, and trams are expected to be largely unaffected by the works. The No 8 tram is however being relocated from Domain Rd to go through the Domain Interchange and up Toorak Rd.

Next year things will get even noisier with excavation of Domain station and tunnelling scheduled to start.

There will be a substantial loss of mature trees along St Kilda. Reports suggest up to 223 elm and plane trees, some dating back to the nineteenth century. But every tree taken down will be replaced with at least two like species.

Advocates say the gains of the decade long construction project will be worth the pain. Melbourne is growing, but more trains cannot run in and out of the city because the City Loop is full.

New high capacity trains will run through the Metro Tunnel, freeing up more trains across the Melbourne rail network. More trains also means fewer cars on the roads, helping to tackle congestion in our suburbs.

The nine-kilometre twin tunnels will slice through the centre of the CBD underneath Swanston Street, connecting South Yarra and Kensington via Parkville.

It will take two of the busiest lines out of the city loop, ensuring increased capacity for the entire network, and create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the south-east.

Not since the construction of the City Loop has Melbourne seen such a transformation of its public transport system. The City Loop project took 14 years. It began in 1971, and was not completed until 1985. Residents hope the current project does not take as long.

Find us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook