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Motorists will endure 11 days of traffic snarls on St Kilda Road in a harbinger of the years of Metro rail tunnel works hell to come.
St Kilda Road will endure three years of heavy traffic when it is reduced from four lanes in each direction to just one each way from next year. The section affected is between Bowen Crescent and Kings Way/Toorak Road West.
But a precursor of the pain will come in the school holidays when St Kilda Road will be down to one lane each way for 11 days from July 1. During this time tram commuters will need to take replacement buses.
Once that work is complete, from July 12, St Kilda Road will have a lane each way restored bet
On the weekends of June 2-4 and June 9-12, St Kilda Road will have two lanes in each direction from Domain Road to Toorak Road West.
Works in the area include a new tram stop for the number 58 tram at Toorak Road West and the new Domain train station.
The Metro rail tunnel will run for nine kilometres and link South Yarra to Kensington.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan described the work as vital.
"I understand it is going to be very frustrating for the community and I know people would like this to go away straight away," Mr Donnellan said. "It simply won't."
Toorak Road West
New trams stops on Toorak Road will be built as part of the Metro rail project. Photo: Supplied
Two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane will be closed on Toorak Road West for two weeks from June 13 while a new tram stop is built between St Kilda Road and Park Street. This section will completely close on July 1-2.
Toorak Road West will operate with one lane in each direction from July 12 between St Kilda Road and Park Street, South Yarra.
Number 58 trams will travel via Toorak Road West to St Kilda Road.
Domain Road will close on July 12 for five years as the new Domain underground station is built.
Mr Donnellan urged commuters to consider alternatives to St Kilda Road into the city, including Kings Way, Punt Road, Canterbury Road and Ferrars Street.
"It is important we get people to look at alternative methods of getting in and out of the city and into this employment zone," Mr Donnellan said.
He said the state government had invested $25 million for traffic monitoring and other works, including turning Punt Road into a clearway.
Using Spencer Street will not be an alternative from July, as it will be partially closed while a major sewer upgrade begins. These works are expected to take up to 15 months.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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