Trail change at the Peppercorn Lawn

Bikes along the Yarra Trail near Princes Bridge will be impacted by a new worksite being established by Melbourne Metro Tunnel on the lawn next to the rowing sheds.

The lawn—which even has its own name, Peppercorn—sits right above the twin tunnels that go under the Yarra River to the forthcoming Town Hall station under Swanston Street.

The lawn will be a construction site for the next year from which grout will be injected into the unstable ground below to make it suitable for a cross-passage to link the tunnels to each other at that exact location.

The trail, which is wide at that point, will be narrowed in front of the Lawn and the existing path connection up to St Kilda Road will be closed off, although the connection can still be made further East via a detour around the rear of the rowing sheds.

This is not the first time bike routes have been altered by ground improvement works for the Tunnel Project.

At regular intervals along the Metro Tunnel alignment, cross passages are constructed to connect the twin tunnels. These cross passages are an important safety feature as they allow people and emergency services to move from one tunnel to the other in the event of an emergency.

At Peppercorn Lawn this will involve piling, drilling and grouting to strengthen the ground prior to the tunnel boring machines passing through in mid 2021.

All site access during construction for deliveries, equipment and soil removal will be via Boathouse Drive and will be managed by traffic control.

There will be some initial impacts during site establishment, including excavation of vegetation, removal of a section of rock wall and the removal of four trees: two mature palm trees, one mature cedar and one semi-mature gum (replacement trees will be replanted following the completion of the works)

Regular truck movements will be required to remove displaced soil and deliver concrete, estimated to be between 10-12 trucks at peak during daytime hours.

Truck access to site will be via Boathouse Drive and there will be an increase in truck traffic at the rear of the rowing club sheds, however traffic control will be in place at the entrance to the work site to facilitate truck access.

Upon the completion of ground improvement works, Peppercorn Lawn will be reinstated, the rock wall and footpath will be reconstructed, replacement trees planted, and the grass and irrigation system reinstated.

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