How to ruin an improving landscape: East-West Tunnel

Yesterday Premier Denis Napthine released further detail on the East-West Tunnel project which will extend the Eastern Freeway to an interchange with Citylink in Parkville/Travancore. My total disdain for prioritising this road lobby/union-pleasing project over the Melbourne Metro tunnel is well documented, however now I want to focus on the impacts this project will have around the redevelopment zones as outlined by the City of Melbourne and State Government itself.

Now we have more detailed renders of the corridor and the superstructure that is proposed at both ends of the tunnel, one needs to feel for the residents of the Elderly Chinese Home which, if not supported by the State Government to move their facilities to another site, will be isolated smack bang in the middle of the triangle interchange at the Western end of the tunnel. Furthermore you have to feel for the people who have bought off the plan in the EVO Parkville development currently under construction - they're now going to have an off-ramp right up against their property boundary.

I found it odd following all the mainstream media journalists on twitter yesterday as they reported 100 or so properties will be affected and compensated and yet there was no mention of this new development (see 1m 55s in below video) with 175 apartments, the majority of which will face the proposed offramp. Following the course of the day it became apparent the Linking Melbourne Authority is only going to compensate people directly affected - i.e. you're only compensated if your property will be compulsorily acquired.

I'm sure solicitors are going to have some fun with the definition of "impacted" for anyone who's recently built or bought into any area near either end of this tunnel.

Enormous outbound flyover with faux bridge from Hoddle Street. Present.

Manningham Street playing fields. Destroyed.

Oak Street / Commonwealth Games wetlands. Obliterated.

Isolation of some of the most vulnerable residents in the area. Confirmed.

Setting Parkville back 2-3 decades. You bet.

What a SUPERB urban design outcome! (That sentence is dripping with sarcasm).


Neil Moreton's picture

Long time reader and unfortunately it took this article for me to sign up to comment.

I bought off the plan in Evo in 2010 and we've been waiting for the project to finish in December of this year.

One of my future neighbors was interviewed in this article,

I along with our baseball team was interviewed yesterday, It's not just the demolition of properties, the creation of a triangle interchange but we will be losing our baseball fields (first purpose built baseball field in Victoria).

Check out the 7:30 report on Friday. They will have a 7 minute piece on the effects on homeowners including those in EVO. We haven't been contacted by anyone in government nor have we heard anything from Motion Property/Pace.

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Mark Baljak's picture

Crema Constructions in their June update said work on a display suite was nearing completion onsite, may as well not have bothered until this finds resolution

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andilee's picture

Absolutely ridiculous, when you consider that they could build the entrances and exits in the Kensington/North Melbourne warehouse district without affecting a single home, park or business. At the other end, the median strip along the Eastern could be used for on and off ramps plus a train tunnel.

If they have to build this thing, can't they at least build it in a way that moves drivers to a reasonably free-flowing road that can either take them to the city, the airport or the western suburbs, instead of dumping them on two of Melbourne's most congested CBD roads? Not to mention setting a rail line in place that could later be extended to the airport... one day...

I've started a petition about this: I hope it's OK to promote it here? Ideally, this thing would never be built, but if it has to be built, at least let it be built in a way that will give maximum benefits and minimum harm...

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Alastair Taylor's picture

No issue with you having the link to your petition.

However I dare say the proposition for the Western End you put forward is not really a good alternative.

The "industrial part of Kensington" is scheduled to be redeveloped for high-density housing and having a tunnel portal there to link with the elevated section of the freeway will require longer ramps and no doubt more land area than the more northerly proposal.

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