Up to five spoil-removal trucks drove through Flinders Lane every hour during daytime to remove 5000 tonnes of debris from the City Square excavation site in February.
The one-lane Flinders Lane was closed between 7am and 8pm from January 30 to February 16 between Swanston and Russell streets for exclusive truck access.
As part of the Metro Tunnel Rail project, an 11-storey shaft will be dug at City Square to allow for underground transportation of machinery, equipment and workers to build the Town Hall Station.
Previously, trucks for the rail project had been going through the two-laned Collins St, but Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) said access to Collins St was unavailable as demolition of the former car park was nearly complete.
At an information session held last April, representatives from the MMRA and contractor John Holland told businesses that truck access through Collins St was under strict timelines to minimise disruption.
Spokesperson Vesna Newman said at the time John Holland was working with Yarra Trams and VicRoads to find adequate staging for trucks to avoid traffic congestion.
“Part of our planning at the moment is looking at our staging, where our vehicles go when they’re not in the CBD because we don’t want to keep them around the corner,” she said.
The MMRA said closing Flinders Lane reduced impact on traffic and trams running on Collins St.
Trucks parked on Flinders Lane were loaded via excavators at the City Square site, before exiting left onto Swanston St and turning onto Flinders St to leave the city.
The MMRA has installed water sprays, scaffolding, hoarding and cloth protections to mitigate dust. An acoustic shed will be constructed over the City Square site later this year to minimise noise.
“Melbourne Metro Rail Authority has worked closely with a number of stakeholders, including City of Melbourne, to minimise disruption around Flinders Lane closures where possible, including scheduling closure dates outside busy Christmas trading, Music Week, and the Australian Open,” an MMRA spokesperson said.
“We are working with local residents and businesses to notify them of upcoming works to ensure they are aware of what we are doing and can plan accordingly.”
The MMRA said Flinders Lane would be closed for future works such as the acoustic shed construction, shaft excavation and tunneling at City Square later this year.
Pedestrians, residents and local businesses will still be able to access Flinders Lane during closures.
CBD residents and businesses can find out more about road closures on metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/construction/cbd