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Toll road 'cheese stick' move mooted to save houses from East West Link

Date

Adam Carey and Aisha Dow

Citylink's 'Cheese stick'.

Citylink's 'Cheese stick'. Photo: Justin McManus

The “cheese stick” that symbolically welcomes CityLink traffic to Melbourne could be shifted 80 metres north in a last-ditch change to the design of the East West Link that has been proposed as a way to save 55 Parkville homes.

The 70-metre cantilevered yellow steel beam also would be separated by a new flyover from the zip-like row of 30-metre red beams that combine to form the Melbourne Gateway, the city’s most recognised piece of freeway architecture.

The new design for East West Link, by local architects Atelier Red + Black, is an attempt to save residences, remnant vegetation, white’s skink habitat and sports fields that are in the path of the planned road.

Its creators hope the design will be adopted by the East West Link project’s planners, the Linking Melbourne Authority, who have been tasked by Planning Minister Matthew Guy with investigating possible changes to the road’s interchange with CityLink.

Mr Guy approved the multibillion-dollar project on June 30, on condition the authority investigate shifting the tunnel portals west of the Upfield railway line to Oak Street and burying them to reduce their impact on Royal Park and end the need to acquire residential properties in Parkville.

The investigation is under way. A spokeswoman for the Linking Melbourne Authority said development plans based on the minister's decision "will be available in coming months".  

Anthony Peyton, of community group Safety Net for Royal Park, which produced the alternative design with Atelier Red + Black, said the uncertainty about the final course the East West Link will take through Parkville had created anxiety among residents.  

But he said that, while other community groups had focused on trying to stop the project, Safety Net for Royal Park sought to limit its negative impact through alternative road designs.

Mr Peyton, who lives in Parkville, said there was no perfect option to build the East West Link in Parkville, but “we’re providing a viable alternative”.

He said the worst impact of their proposed design was not the relocating of the “cheese stick” but the damage it would inflict on Royal Park’s Trin Warren Tam-boore wetland.

The man-made wetland would have to be drained, cut up and then re-established after the road’s construction.

“It’s like a trade-off,” Mr Peyton said. “Do you take away the aged care [facility] and the homes or do you take the wetlands?”

Atelier Red + Black director Michael Smith said the Safety Net was based on the philosophy of limiting the  most negative effects of East West Link, or in his words “at least when you fall, you don’t hit the concrete”.

The East West Link is an 18-kilometre freeway connection between the Eastern Freeway in Collingwood and the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West, which will cost up to $18 billion to build. Contracts for stage one, between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink, are due to be signed before the November state election.

The Napthine government says it will reduce cross-city travel by up to 20 minutes.

49 comments so far

  • oh, boy, where to begin....

    take the wetlands????

    guys, guys, it's just more concrete, more cars.... and what will the penalty be if crossing the city still takes just as long?

    We don't need more roads, the whole city is already criss cross full of them, what we need is more green space. More nature, not less. And to achieve that we need is more public transport and a few minor adjustments to existing roads.

    We need MORE wetlands, we hardly have any of those.

    It's so disturbing that all we can think to do is put yet another road through royal park.

    This is why I vote Green.

    oh, and you can take the embarrassing cheese stick away any day of the week.

    Commenter
    sarajane
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    July 28, 2014, 7:01AM
    • Greens continually don't surpass me with their breathtaking myopia.

      Commenter
      Tabtha
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 7:24AM
    • Sarajane, the EW linking of the Eastern and Tullamarine freeways is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Leaving out the fact that other, smaller, cities around the world have better freeway interconnects, green space and public transport, getting those cars, trucks, buses, taxis, delivery vehicles and so on, off Alexandra Pde, Cemetery Road and Royal Park and into a tunnel will allow better use of existing green space and more efficient use of the Alexandra Pde area with greater access for cyclists.
      Yes, we need to improve PT but no matter what the Greens say, a Doncaster train line is NOT going to get goods manufactured in Dandenong and Frankston, over to the western suburbs or up to regional Victoria.
      The tunnel and freeway improvements, of course, is not there just for commuter cars. It works for public transport buses, local delivery vehicles which can't be replaced by rail, and will be there for many years into the future serving low pollution electric and renewable fuelled vehicles.

      To deny the necessity of linking two of our major arterial roads and provide an alternative to the Monash/Westgate artery, is mind bogglingly ignorant.

      Commenter
      JohnB
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 7:24AM
    • I don't care if you vote Greens, Labor, Libs etc. We need to be united on one thing. It's not a cheese stick. It is a French Fry dipping into Tomato Sauce.

      God damn people, get with the program.

      Commenter
      The Slow Eater
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 8:39AM
    • Instead of wasting more money shifting this ugly cheesestick it should be moved and sold off for scrap metal.

      What an embarrassment to Melbourne this cheesestick is !

      Overwhelmingly Victorians want better public transport infrastructure instead of more toll roads and freeways but the government is doing the opposite. Why is this ?

      The government are being secretive, dishonest and underhanded and Napthine and his cronies should face a judicial inquiry.

      This project will turn out to be the biggest financial scam in Victoria's political history.

      Superannuation fund managers are being urged to gamble billions of dollars of members' funds on buying and funding new toll roads such as the E-W toll road.
      Members should write to their super funds and warn the managers not to gamble their savings on this white elephant.

      The $18 billion East-West toll road at a cost of about $1 billion per kilometre, has already failed a cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the previous government.

      The only way this expensive project could be justified is to exaggerate or falsify the benefits.

      The government's political donors and the road lobby groups are good at promoting these exaggerations because they are desperate to benefit financially.
      Of course the toll road operators want it because they can slug motorists over a million dollars a day in toll fees.

      An international study has already found that for investors to get a return on the E-W toll road, motorists would have to be slugged a minimum of $10.50 per trip.

      Scrap this expensive E-W white elephant and invest the money in expanding our railway infrastructure, including the Metro Railway Tunnel, Airport rail, Doncaster rail, and Rowville rail, which will provide maximum benefit for taxpayers and reduce road congestion !

      WHERE'S THE TRANSPARENCY ?

      Commenter
      Rail Now
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 8:49AM
    • Only an incompetent and desparate Premier and Planning Minister would approve an $8 billion project without even knowing its final design.

      Napthine - you are clearly a Roads Scholar, but no Rhodes Scholar.

      Guy - grow up and listen to yourself. I can't believe you actually think you are doing your job properly when you don't even know the basics of the biggest planning project you are apparently in charge of.

      Commenter
      Peter Reynolds
      Location
      Kensington
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 11:01AM
    • Just put the cheesestick on ebay to get rid of it,,,and the vic.gov has NO MANDATE to proceed any further with this project.

      Commenter
      AWLor0
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 11:42AM
    • @Tabitha ... that you. You've pretty made my morning.
      "Greens continually don't surpass me with their breathtaking myopia."
      <chortles>

      Commenter
      LesChat
      Location
      Kensington
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 11:44AM
  • Geez, we need more roads Melbourne, its grid lock out there! even on sundays - took us an hour to get from bentleigh to brunswick in Sunday Morning. Daniel Andrews crazy plan (or lack of one) will grid lock Melbourne even further. Think he saving puppy farms or something not fixing the massive lack of roads.

    Commenter
    Tabtha
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 28, 2014, 7:22AM
    • It amazes me that people complain about traffic. Why do you move into the city, reduce pollution, walk everywhere like everyone else thats moving into the city. Ditch the car and use trams. I will never move back into the suburbs, ever. Everything in the city is here. I can just walk my food shopping across the road and I am home. Work is 10 mins, friends are down the street. This practice of complaining about traffic should be an encouragement to take public transport or if you live in the suburbs then change your lifestyle.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy1
      Date and time
      July 28, 2014, 8:27AM

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