Metro Madness: What to Expect as Parkville Station Works Commence in 2018

14 February 2018

Major works on the new Parkville Station are scheduled to commence in February, necessitating the closure of Grattan Street for up to five years. University of Melbourne students travelling to and from campus may face transport disruptions and pedestrian delays as works commence on the $11 billion Metro Tunnel project.

“Inevitably, construction will affect us all, so the University is working closely with the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority to safeguard amenity and access during the project,” said Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis, in an official statement.

According to the University, over 40 per cent of students study south of Grattan Street, and will consequently need to navigate the closure of the street to move between classes.

“While at this stage we do not anticipate significant impacts to the time it takes for students to travel between classes, there are a range of interventions, including timetabling adjustments, that the University can implement should transit times become an issue,” said a spokesperson for the Metro Tunnel Interface Project team.

The most significant disruption to student’s experience of travelling to and from University will be the diversion of public transport. The 401, 402, 403, 505 and 546 bus routes to the University will be re-routed around the station work site.

The construction of Parkville Station will also require the removal of up to 99 mature trees.

Speaking to The Age in December, University of Melbourne arborist Dr Gregory Moore suggested the removal of trees around Melbourne to accommodate the project were being done “without proper consideration of the value of those trees”. A total of 770 trees will be removed Melbourne-wide as part of the Metro Tunnel construction.

The University is considering how it can potentially repurpose and preserve the wood from the trees that will be removed, for use across student and public art projects.

UMSU Environment Officers Lucy Turton and Callum Simpson stressed the environmental benefits of increased access to public transport. “Whilst we are disappointed that the construction of the new Metro Station will necessitate the removal of many heritage trees, we believe that the station will improve the amenity of our area and hopefully serve to make our University more accessible for all,” they said.

While some disruptions can be expected during the construction process, the project also presents chances for student engagement. A wide range of internship and graduate opportunities related to the project will be available, as well as a learning and teaching program tailor-made for University of Melbourne students, which is currently in development.

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