The upcoming Victorian school holidays will see disruptions for drivers and public transport users, as construction crews step up preparation work for the Melbourne Metro.
“This will be a major disruption for our city,” transport minister Jacinta Allan said, “but Melbourne needs the Metro Tunnel to free up space in the City Loop to run more trains, more often to our suburbs and our regions.”
As part of the 16-day intensive construction effort across the state, St. Kilda Road between Domain Road and Kings Way/Toorak Road will be temporarily reduced to one lane, while trams that travel between Domain Road and High Street will be temporarily replaced with bus services.
The government has advised drivers to avoid St. Kilda Road as works there are expected to lead to a 30 minutes increase in travel times, and has recommended alternative routes, such as Punt Road, Kings Way and Canterbury Road. Furthermore, tram passengers have also been advised that travel could be an extra 30 minutes longer than usual.
Road closures will enable work to be carried out to install new tram tracks on Toorak Road and build two new tram stops, enabling the 58 tram service to continue operating while a new underground station is being built in Domain. The government has indicated that part of Domain Road will remain closed for several years while the new station is being built.
In addition to these projects and several major roadworks on the Monash Freeway, the M80 Ring Road and Swan Street Bridge, further work to remove level crossings will affect services on Hurstbridge, Cranbourne and Pakenham rail lines.
Additional track and infrastructure upgrades to allow the network to support new high-capacity trains will also have some impact on services across the regional and metropolitan network during the holiday period.
“We make no apologies for building the trains, trams and roads Victorians need to get home safer and sooner,” premier Daniel Andrews said.
“This massive construction blitz will be disruptive – so plan ahead, consider alternative routes and allow more time to get where you need to go.”