Work has begun on building an entrance to the Metro Tunnel’s new underground Town Hall Station, aiming to improve access to some of Melbourne’s most iconic tourist destinations.

From 10pm on Tuesday 9 October, Flinders Street westbound between Russell and Swanston streets was fully shut, with detours via Russell, Collins, Queen and Flinders streets, and Kings Way to St Kilda Road.

From 5am on Wednesday 10 October, traffic flow was reduced along Flinders Street, with one lane now closed westbound between Russell and Swanston streets for up to four years, while an entrance to Town Hall Station is built at Federation Square.

Drivers will still have one left-turning lane from Flinders Street into St Kilda Road and one lane towards Elizabeth Street. Night works to prepare for construction of the Federation Square entrance are being undertaken throughout October and in November, with changes to the Flinders Street westbound traffic lanes between Russell and Swanston streets, and other lane reductions and closures on Swanston Street and St Kilda Road.

Dismantling and demolition of the former Melbourne Visitor Centre will start this week, after Heritage Victoria granted a permit for major construction at Federation Square.

At the City Square construction site on the corner of Swanston and Collins streets, huge concrete support columns are being drilled into the ground, allowing Town Hall Station to be safely built up to 35m under the CBD.

Acoustic sheds 18m high will be built over the City Square and Federation Square worksites from next year to contain construction noise and dust, before 24-hour excavation and tunnelling works commence.

Town Hall Station will have a direct underground connection to Flinders Street Station, so passengers can connect seamlessly with City Loop services.

Passengers will be able to access the station from seven entrances, at City Square, Federation Square, the Degraves Street subway, Flinders Street, Swanston Street, Cocker Alley and Scott Alley.

Commenting on the works, Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said, “We said we would build a Metro Tunnel station entrance on the doorstep of Federation Square, and we’re getting on with it.

“By freeing up the City Loop, space will be created on the network for more than half a million extra peak passengers every week.

“We know this is going to cause lots of disruption for commuters, and we thank them for their patience as we get on with delivering this vital project.”

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