Homes likely to be bulldozed to make way for tunnel

Page 2 of Linking Melbourne Correspondence to local residents

The actual East West Link details are a gigantic puzzle for Melbourne residents: this piece could be a massive on-ramp slicing through Collingwood…

The Age:  Homes likely to be bulldozed to make way for tunnel

Collingwood residents near Hoddle Street have been told their properties are likely to be bulldozed to make for the East-West Link road tunnel.

The state government’s Linking Melbourne Authority sent letters to property owners on Monday informing them it was likely their homes would be compulsorily acquired for the $6 to $8 billion road tunnel.

Premier Denis Napthine is refusing to say how many properties will be compulsorily acquired to make way for the road, claiming that “details will be provided at an appropriate time.”

But in the letter, the authority’s chief executive Ken Mathers said he was able to release details of the proposed route and key features including on and off ramps, where the tunnel would surface at the end of the tollway and how it would accommodate public transport.

“Importantly for you, this detailed design identifies that your property is likely to be required for construction of the East West Link.”

Residents have also received phone calls, asking them to meet with state government authorities.

A map sent to residents in the area suggests an entire block running alongside Hoddle Street from Hotham Street to Alexandra Parade will be demolished.

It also indicates that a massive on-ramp will be built to allow traffic travelling north on Hoddle Street to enter the tunnel.

The on-ramp appears to branch off Hoddle Street near Hotham Street.

Mr Mathers said the letter was not a formal notice of property acquisition and the design may be amended following consultation with the community.

“It is important that you be aware of the potential impacts so that you understand your rights and have the opportunity to participate in the planning process.”

The state government authority phoned Bendigo Street resident Keith Fitzgerald on Monday and asked if he would meet them.

He was told his house would be valued at the same price as properties in other parts of Collingwood not impacted by the East West Link.

The state government refused to say how many homes would be compulsorily acquired for the construction of the road tunnel.

“Details of Stage One of the project, its route and other design features will be released to the public shortly and we will be actively seeking further input from the local community as well as other stakeholders.”