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Getting to the bottom of Elizabeth Street
Posted by Tony on 6th March 2015 at 15:06:42
Totally torn.

Coming off a couple of days of increasing focus and clarity on daylighting hastily buried waterways, aka storm water drains, from my wild dreams for Stony Creek back closer to old home territories of Five Mile Creek and even Napier Crescent's extra wide verges, severely distracted by 3AW and our next to worst "news"paper running with a fantastic proposal to daylight Williams Creek that runs down Elizabeth Street to the Yarra, I struggle to reposition another long held dream of pushing the Elizabeth Street tramlines above Flinders Street, through a hole in the sacred facade, above and connected to extended platforms, then across the Yarra to through lines serving burgeoning Southbank.

Such possibilities are why the recently failed govt's station redesign distraction was so offensive, totally ignoring the ever growing need to rethink function and connectivity requirements ahead of any major redevelopment.

If we could find an acceptable compromise with historical integrity providing both trams elevated on viaduct and daylighted, vegetated creek below in gully/subway from Collins Street to the Yarra, the advantages would be huge.

Imagine a western elevated concourse riding on pillars between tracks just west of the Elizabeth Street subway including an elevated replacement Sir Robert Risson Tram Stop providing direct access to platforms extended to serve nine carriage trains. This would leave options for reactivating Platform 11 and the historic Sandridge bridge open as well as the Queen Street alignment clear for an eventual north-south underground.

While ideally the current Elizabeth Street subway would be given over entirely to the vegetated Williams Creek with daylight penetrating through openings and skylights within the tracks and platforms, those of us who enjoy subway access would appreciate a major and arguably already overdue upgrade of Degraves Street access.

The tram viaduct would cross the river east of and roughly parallel to the popular Southgate pedestrian bridge before the tracks would turn reasonably sharply to run above Southgate Avenue with a plaza-level stop east of the IBM building before turning to run above City Road then into Southbank Boulevard where it could descend to the median and obvious connections to the southern and southeastern tram network. An important objective always is to avoid terminating and turning around both heavy and light rail services in the inner city: a waste of time and space.

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