Good afternoon everyone,
This week’s look ahead is coming to you on a Thursday, not for any special reason, other than the fact that I’ll be away from the office on Friday and Monday.
Next Monday is an RDO on site, so there won’t be any works out on site.
The long term weather forecast for next week isn’t looking fabulous – so we’re expecting that progress on site might be slowed up a little next week.
There are two big changes that have come into effect today. The first is some good news, with Botanic residents driveway is now open. While I recognise that everyone is dealing with the regular changes within the precinct, a big thankyou does have to be extended to Botanica residents who use the basement carpark of the building – their cars have been relocated to nearby parking garages for the past few weeks. Thankfully we’ve managed to reopen the driveway a week ahead of schedule.
Unfortunately, as mentioned last week, the early completion of this section means that Bowen Lane will close at St Kilda Road today for a period of three months. We’ll do our best to also shorten up this duration and get the access reopened.
- Station Roof Works
As per the introduction, these works are progressing well – and the closure of Bowen Lane at St Kilda Road is now in effect. Those residents and businesses who access their property via Bowen Lane will need to enter and exit via Kings Way while these works are underway. (The map below is now updated as promised)
- Albert Road Reserve Station entrance
Excavation remains the flavour of the week next week on site, we’re currently at three out of the four levels of excavation to make it down to base slab level. Despite the heavy weather of late, the teams are making some good progress. The wet weather has made it difficult to keep the streets clean directly out of site, the sweeper truck is working overtime and we’ll keep a close eye on the state of the road.
- Albert Road North construction
The parking has closed on the southern side of Albert Road as forecast last week. We’ve held off diverting pedestrian foot traffic onto the roadway until we’ve got the first section underway, but this will happen overnight tonight.
Next week we’ll start on the footpath and excavate along the full length and do non-destructive digging (NDD) work with the sucker trucks to identify location of both tree roots and services.
As I’ve mentioned before, the trees along this section are approved for removal, however if the structural roots are deep enough that the tree can be retained, then they will be left in place. If the arborist advises that the tree cannot be retained, they’ll be removed in the coming weeks. I’ll update on the outcome of these investigations as we go.
If you’ve walked past the driveway at The Domain or in front of Domain Hill and Hallmark apartments, you’ll get a sense of how the works will progress; excavation, investigations, concrete pour and then bluestone laying. Once its underway it will progress fairly swiftly from east to west.
Elsewhere in Albert Road, the drainage installation is continuing, we’ll have a small pedestrian detour at the base of the reserve tomorrow so we can complete the drainage installation where the footpath currently runs. It’s a short term diversion just while we do the drainage install in this section.
- St Kilda Road median works – South
Next week we’ll see kerb works for the separated bike lanes in front of Melbourne Grammar. Looking further ahead, on the 15 May we’ll permanently remove the St Kilda Road on-street parking in front of the Royce Hotel, we’d originally planned to remove all the parking between Bromby Street and Toorak Road in one hit, but we’ve instead staged this approach to retain on-street parking for as long as we can. The section in front of the Royce will be the first to be permanently removed, followed by the remaining parking in June.
Over in the median, the steel frames for the chiller plant structures is now fully complete and we’ll now see the pre-cast concrete sections installed around the frame.
- St Kilda Road median works – North
We’re making progress with the drainage installation underneath the future separated bike lane and parking between Park Street and Dorcas Street. The sections of drain are on site and are progressively being installed as each area is excavated.
- Station box construction
Not a great deal to report from downstairs in the station box. I don’t want to downplay these works too much, as it’s obviously of great interest to those who are working to get the power commissioned to run test trains, but in terms of visuals and progress updates, it doesn’t make for great reading. So for now, I’ll just say everyone is hard at work and it is progressing well.
- Shrine Entrance
The base of the entrance at the Shrine of Remembrance is now a cobweb of tied steel, we’ll pour concrete into these tied sections on Friday morning, which will be a great milestone to have the base slab poured. As I’ve mentioned before, the entrance at Albert Road Reserve is following the same construction method as the Shrine Entrance, so this steel tying and concrete pouring will feature in the Albert Road Reserve entrance update before too long.
- Park Street to Albert Road
Progress has been a tad slow in the section in front of the Hallmark, this is primarily while we do our due diligence on the trees through this section. The trees that couldn’t be retained were removed on Wednesday, and we’re now doing the final leveling works and retaining wall formwork. The aim is to pour concrete in this section next week. It’s a tricky section to position both a concrete pump and a concrete truck, while also keeping pedestrians moving through here – but we’ll implement a minor detour next Thursday and Friday and pour concrete onto both the future footpath and the new retaining wall.
Have a great weekend