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Works tracking well for new linear park

Works tracking well for new linear park
Brendan Rees

Significant progress has been made to transform Dodds St in Southbank into a vibrant green space with preparation for mounded gardens starting soon.

The $6.5 million project, which spans from Southbank Blvd to Grant St, seeks to contribute to the area’s sustainable urban environment while also enhancing the street’s visual appeal in the heart of Melbourne’s iconic Arts Precinct.

In an update to the community in September, the City of Melbourne said paving at the Southbank Boulevard end of the street was “well under way” with workers preparing for paving on the eastern footpath, preparing tree pits, digging, excavating, and remediating soil.

“Works on the Dodds St linear park are progressing well. The project is taking exciting steps forward to improve this under-explored part of the city,” the council said.

Digging in the roadway began in January with the new park expected to open in December.

Public artwork has also been commissioned for the area with planning and design under way.

Once complete, the park will cover 1300 square metres of native grassland planting and 35 new trees set among paved bluestone pathways and gathering spaces. It will also increase the area’s tree canopy and biodiversity and be a place for people of all abilities.

In the coming weeks, work will involve laying a concrete base, installing below-ground services, paving, installing light pole footings, and preparing for mounded gardens.

Dodds St is closed to public vehicles, but from October, vehicles will be able to use a shared zone of Dodds St from Southbank Blvd to the service lane next to the Melbourne Theatre Company.

This project forms stage two of the Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street Draft concept plan endorsed by the council in 2017.

Residents say they are looking forward to the green space opening, which will link a future park at the ACCA forecourt, creating a “beautiful green corridor”. •

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