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GUARDIANS of St Pauls’ Cathedral have been assured the landmark building won’t become the Leaning Tower of Pisa due to the Metro Rail tunnel.
Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier had been worried that construction of the $11 billion project would be done on the “cheap” and severely disrupt the cathedral’s operations.
Dr Freier spoke to the Sunday Herald Sun about his concerns, and requested a meeting with Premier Daniel Andrews to discuss potential issues such as “big dump trucks going past there every couple of minutes”.
Melbourne Metro Rail Authority CEO Evan Tattersall has revealed that he met with Dr Freier after the criticism.
“He had been fed a fair bit of misinformation. As if we’re going to let St Paul’s Cathedral become the leaning tower of Pisa,” he said.
Mr Tattersall said the tunnel would be sealed to stop water flowing in to help prevent lowering of the water table.
“If you don’t lower your water table then you don’t get settlement and therefore things like St Paul’s Cathedral and Young and Jackson’s don’t end up sinking, which obviously we’re not going to do,” he said.
Bidders for the key cross-town metro line include international consortia with substantial tunnelling expertise.
The tunnel will run under Swanston St with one of the stations, now dubbed CBD South, to be built under City Square, which is now closed.
Mr Tattersall said that work was also being done to minimise construction noise for St Paul’s and places like the St Kilda Rd arts precinct, RMIT and Melbourne universities, and the Parkville health precinct.
“If we have noisy activities we’re going to have to work with them to make sure we did at a time that’s not going to disrupt events or classes and things,” he said.
The Anglican Church is keen for CBD South to be renamed St Paul’s, however, decisions on names for the five metro stations will be made later after public input.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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