The East West tunnel would bulldoze homes in West Parkville and destroy wetlands, sporting fields and a multi-million-dollar water storage facility, according to opponents.
While the final route has yet to be announced, the Protectors of Public Lands group said Manningham St properties – including the Elderly Chinese Home – were in the path of the toll-road as it surfaced at Ross Straw Fields and joined the Tullamarine Freeway via four overpasses.
The link is also set to play havoc with Melbourne Council’s $2.5 million, five million-litre water storage tanks under the fields which water Royal Park, its golf course and Royal Parade.
Parkville resident of almost 40 years Adam Brown said even residents who did not lose their property would have their recreation areas sliced up by freeways and sound walls.
“This will slash our amenity and our property prices, but the loss of heritage for future generations is immeasurable. We’re losing what Melbourne is known for and what makes it livable for a Los Angeles style freeway network.”
PPL spokeswoman Julianne Bell said it was a “disaster” for thousands of sportspeople and residents and the environment, heritage and water storage.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber called on the Government to provide more information, labelling it the “most secretive tunnel since The Great Escape“.
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Linking Melbourne Authority spokeswoman Erin Coldham said a more detailed design would be released for community feedback later this month. Ms Coldham said property acquisition would not take place until next year and overpasses could not be built directly over residential properties.
The Government plans to widen the Eastern Freeway by two lanes. It said the project would be used by about 80,000 cars a day and deliver a cost benefit of $1.40 due to productivity gains.