Next stop, University
The Metro Tunnel project is coming right to the University of Melbourne’s door. Preparatory work has already started on a station underneath Grattan Street, near Royal Parade.
“The hole we dig in Grattan Street is going to be the size of a skyscraper on its side basically,” says Parkville precinct co-ordinator and engineering alumnus Matt van der Peet.
Although Parkville sits on many existing tram and bus lines, van der Peet says that the area needs more public transport infrastructure.
“Within a very short distance – about 800m or so – there are tens of thousands of students, researchers and medical professionals,” he notes. Almost 60,000 passengers are expected to use the station daily by 2031.
To be completed in 2026, the Parkville station will have four entrances: two providing direct access to the University of Melbourne, and two accessing the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
A lot of planning has gone into minimising disruption during construction. Planners have gone so far as to identify where delivery trucks access buildings, even measuring precisely the size of the trucks’ turning circles.
Van der Peet says that this intense preparation means that once construction starts, contractors will have enough knowledge to “understand our precinct, and what you need to do to keep it functioning”.
Highlights of the station design include the use of bluestone and sandstone, in keeping with the precinct’s character, and landscaping that incorporates medicinal plants used by Indigenous and western cultures.
The City of Melbourne plans to close Barry Street to traffic, and reduce traffic to one lane in each direction on Grattan Street. The idea is to create a more pedestrian-friendly public space, just south of the main University campus.
Have your say
Victorian residents have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make their mark in Melbourne by naming the five new underground stations. The University is campaigning to have the Parkville station named ‘University’.
Read more about the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project.