Good afternoon everyone,
I hope everyone has had a great week, the miserable weather has finally turned around just in time for the weekend!
Headline item for this week are the footpath works on the southern side of Albert Road. Right down at the end of the road we’ll be removing two trees (tomorrow) – This includes the tree on the south-west corner of Albert Road near Kings Way and one of the palm trees (the other palm will be retained as part of the design) These trees aren’t two of the trees that we’ve been aiming to retain, unfortunately these two clash with the final design and have to be removed.
I realise I’ve been the bearer of nothing but bad news on trees of late, so it’s pleasing to report better news further up the footpath – we’ve excavated past seven trees that were approved for removal, however the non-destructive digging (NDD) works have revealed that we will be able to retain all seven. Fingers crossed that the good news continues as we make our way down Albert Road.
- Station Roof Works and Bowen Lane Utility Works
With Bowen Lane closed, the team have made short work of the remaining section of excavation along this stretch. This area actually had the majority of the d-wall broken back prior to St Kilda Road being relocated back in 2019, so progress has been a little quicker. The next stage is the return of everyone’s least favourite piece of equipment – the NDD truck – to clean out the final section of roof, before it is tied to the station wall and poured.
I forecast last week that there are going to be a few utilities works in Bowen Lane following the D-wall works (Our survey lines spray painted on the road is usually a dead giveaway).
Bowen Lane has won the trifecta, with gas, water and sewer works all set to commence next week (a stormwater connection is also thrown in for good measure) What this means for pedestrians heading down St Kilda Road footpath is a short detour down, across and back up Bowen Lane to continue on St Kilda Road. The existing orange plastic traffic barriers in Bowen Lane will remain where they are and we won’t continue our work area any further than currently set out.
The first of those will start next week with some saw cutting of the roadway, followed by NDD, excavation and service laying. We’ve kicked these works off a little earlier in an effort to get Bowen Lane re-opened as soon as possible.
- Albert Road Reserve Station entrance
The team reached an important milestone today as the main excavation is now complete and we have reached the base level and begun the initial concrete pour for the ground slab. Despite the weather, the team have made fantastic progress in this area. We’ve also only got one final pile to break down, so the station box will soon be entirely connected to the concourse level of the main station. I’ve included a photo today of the first section of concrete ground slab poured. You’ll notice you can see directly through to the concourse level, underneath the tram canopy.
- Albert Road North construction
As I mentioned in the introduction, the works on the southern footpath are progressing well, with some excellent news for the trees along this section. We’ll be progressively making our way down through this section with the laying of bluestone. The driveway of The Domain was the first to see bluestone laid, we’re anticipating that we’ll see the driveway reopened next week, a little earlier than first anticipated.
- St Kilda Road median works – South
As promised, the works commenced this week on the kerb-side works next to Melbourne Grammar School. We didn’t get as far along this section to commence the removal of parking in front of The Royce Hotel as forecast though. Rather than close the parking on the 15th as I’d suggested, we’re instead going to push these works back to the end of this month, and focus efforts on the completion of the inner lane (parking staying for longer is never an unpopular announcement). As mentioned last week , 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.
Over in the median, the first section of the pre-cast concrete arrived on site for the chiller plant structures, we should see that start to go up tomorrow and into next week.
- St Kilda Road median works – North
We’ve hit a snag in the form of an electrical conduit in a location slightly different to where it was supposed to be in the bike lane sections between Park and Dorcas Streets (rest assured we neither hit, nor snagged the conduit itself – this is the reason we do so much work with our NDD sucker trucks) What this means is that we have to do a bit of design work here and work around the conduit. Works will keep progressing along the bike lane in the meantime though.
- Station box construction
Another week where I didn’t spend anywhere near enough time underground in the station box to be able to provide a meaningful update on the wonderful work that the team are doing down there. Next week I’ll collar one of the lead engineers and get them to provide me with a rundown on all the highlights of station construction to make up for my scant updates of late.
- Shrine Entrance
As I mentioned last week, the concrete has been poured within the Shrine Entrance for the base slab, the internal wall construction is also well underway. Very soon you’ll see some works the Shrine area to extend our hoarding line out to expand our site footprint to allow the installation of the station entrance canopy and the stairs exiting the Shrine entrance. Once we’ve completed all the final checks on the proposed alignment, the intention is to shift the new hoarding over the coming weeks. It will also feature an refresh of the creative design application, I’ll include a sneak peak in next week’s update.
- Park Street to Albert Road
Like the other areas of footpath construction, we’re seeing some good progress now on the section in front of Domain Hill. The access to the stairs of Domain Hill will be reopened first thing on Monday morning. An enormous thanks to the residents there for their patience.
The news for Hallmark residents is that on Tuesday we’ll have the concrete pumps in place to pour the final base for their pavers – as well as the retaining wall that runs adjacent.
Have a great weekend