LaTrobe St lane reopen

After more than a year, motorists have regained a lane of LaTrobe St.
A temporary wooden bracing structure was hastily put together in June last year when emergency orders were issued against the elderly owners of Russells Old Corner Shop on the corner of LaTrobe and King streets.
Negotiations have been challenging, made even worse by the death of George Dixon last December. His wife Lola Russell has lived in the property since she was an infant. Her grandmother, Valetta Azzopardi, bought the heritage-protected property in 1899.
Due the temporary wooden structure blocking the footpath, the left-hand, westbound lane has been used for pedestrians and cyclists.
The council has now funded, designed, built and installed a $30,000 metal gantry to support the northern wall of the building and protect pedestrians.
A council spokesperson said the city would not contribute to the restoration of the building.
“The process to design and install the gantry is currently underway with an engineer and building contractor already engaged by the City of Melbourne,” the spokesperson said.
“The City of Melbourne is not undertaking any restoration works whatsoever – this is purely to ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and to restore the affected westbound traffic lane on LaTrobe St.”
“The City of Melbourne always works closely with building owners and owners’ corporations to resolve issues.”
“In the case of this property, the City of Melbourne was aware of the financial difficulties of the owner and the distress following the loss of her husband.”
“Family members acting on behalf of the elderly owner were also overseas for extended periods during the past nine months.”

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