Sixty trees and historic Melbourne parkland saved from Metro Tunnel destruction

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Tom’s Block in Domain Parklands Photo: Supplied The planned alignment of the Metro Tunnel through Tom’s Block. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

Some of the trees that were facing the chop in Domain Parklands. Photo: Eddie Jim

Historic Melbourne parkland in danger of permanent tree loss due to Metro Tunnel construction has been saved from damage, after it was found the shallow tunnelling proposed for the area could damage CityLink infrastructure.

Under plans being considered by the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, a prominent garden opposite the Victorian College of the Arts on St Kilda Road was at risk of losing 60 trees.

Known as Tom’s Block, the sloping green space boasts pine trees thought to have been planted before 1873 and red flowering gums that date back to King George V’s silver jubilee. */]]>

Under the shallow tunnel plan, these trees would have been cut down. And, significantly, the work could have also prevented any replacement trees being planted in the future.

Underneath Tom’s Block, the new rail tunnels are set to intersect with existing CityLink tunnels.

If the new tunnel was to pass over, rather than underneath, the CityLink tunnels cement grout mix would be injected into the soil.

Experts had warned that cement within one metre of the park’s surface would make it impossible to plant new trees in the future.

“It would have cut a swathe through parklands 50 metres-wide and 340-metres long, which would have been disastrous from a heritage point of view,” the National Trust’s Anna Foley said.

“We wouldn’t have expected, with tonnes of concrete poured into the soil, [that] the trees would have ever reached the same size.”

In response to these concerns, the rail authority this week announced its “preferred option” was now to go underneath the CityLink tunnels, eliminating most of concerns about the impact on the heritage-listed parkland.

In a technical note, the authority said that the shallow tunnel also posed a number of construction risks, including damage to the CityLink tunnels.

However concerns still remain for 220 of St Kilda Road’s established plane and elm trees, set to be removed from a 700-metre stretch of the boulevard.

The rail authority said the trees were to be replaced with “super advanced” species, which are about three-metres tall.

“The replacement trees are expected to put on one metre of growth per year in the first five years and, as such, trees along the boulevard are expected to reach a height of around eight metres within five years of their replacement,” the technical note said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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