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A facelift for feral underpass

08 Feb 2018

A facelift for feral underpass Image

Local businesses are rejoicing after the State Government announced plans to finally upgrade the Elizabeth St underpass at Flinders Street Station.

As a central gateway connecting locals and tourists from the CBD to the Yarra River and Southbank, the walkway’s eroding condition has long been the subject of scrutiny from local business owners.

In January, acting Premier James Merlino and acting Public Transport Minister Luke Donnellan appeared at Northbank to announce a new entrance to Platform 10 as part of the State Government’s $100 million station redevelopment.

Construction started last week on the new entrance, which will provide direct access to Southbank Promenade to Platform 10 via the Evan Walker Bridge and ease congestion through the underpass.

While construction of the new entrance is already underway, Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan told Southbank Local News that works to the underpass would start before the new entrance is opened in April.

“Entrance first then underpass renewal – staged works, timing for underpass will commence before the entrance is finished,” Ms Allan’s spokesperson said.

Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) president John Forman said business welcomed the long-awaited upgrade, describing the underpass an “embarrassment” to Melbourne.

“The Southbank business and resident numbers continue to grow and the upgrade will assist with the increased traffic and demand,” he said.

“Southbank is a tourism hotspot and the current condition of the underpass has been a major embarrassment to the ‘World’s Most Liveable City’!”

“The YRBA has been working hard over the years to highlight the importance of upgrading the main connection footpath/underpass from Southbank to the CBD.”

“We are appreciative that the government is making a significant investment to assist with Southbank’s growth and offer a more appealing look and feel for locals and tourists who use the underpass on a daily basis.”

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