Transforming Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street

The City of Melbourne is giving our neighbourhood a facelift – 2.5 hectares of beautiful new green public spaces along Southbank Boulevard and its surrounds!

Commencing on 18 July, construction works will take an estimated 18 months – and while there'll be plenty of long-term benefits to the Melbourne Arts Precinct, there'll also be some short-term impacts to visitors, including temporary road closures, changes/diversions to roads and traffic lights, and changed access to our car park.

Our Car Park will remain open 24/7 during this time.

So what's this project all about?

City of Melbourne Vision

City of Melbourne's vision for our neighbourhood is to transform Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street into one of Australia's most pedestrian-friendly places and linking the Domain Parklands to the Yarra River.

After extensive community and stakeholder engagement, construction of the first stage of the project will start Wednesday 18 July 2018. You can view the interactive Draft Concept Plan here; the plan outlines 10 actions for a new vision for Southbank that will:

  • create 2.5 hectares of new public open space
  • prioritise pedestrians, public transport and cyclists
  • deliver a new, accessible tram stop on Sturt Street
  • enhance the gateway into the Melbourne Arts Precinct
  • create a living link, connecting the Domain Parklands to the Yarra River
  • create a "Melbourne Experience" for Southbank
  • build a new civic square for the precinct
  • deliver a series of new neighbourhood parks for the community.

Stages of construction

  • Stage 1A (early works): 18 July – 21 September 2018
  • Stage 1B (tram occupation works): 22 – 30 September 2018
  • Stage 1C (civil and footpath works): 1 October 2018 – August 2019

Please refer to the City of Melbourne June 2018 construction bulletin for more detailed information.

How will this affect your visit to Arts Centre Melbourne?

The City of Melbourne is finalising plans to alter the traffic conditions on Southbank Boulevard. The key changes associated with the project and directly affecting your visit to Arts Centre Melbourne in Stage 1A: 18 July – 21 September 2018 are:

  • Southbank Boulevard will be closed to all traffic between St Kilda Road and Sturt Street in order to prepare for tram construction works.
  • During this time there will be no vehicle access to Southbank Boulevard between St Kilda Road and Sturt Street.
  • Trams will continue to operate, and buses will be diverted.
  • Pedestrians will continue to have access to the precinct.

How will this affect the Arts Centre Melbourne car park?

Impact area During construction Once construction completed
Sturt Street entry Lanes will be reversed at certain times to facilitate exits – please choose your entry lane according to signage on the day. This will continue to operate as normal with all four entry lanes operational.
Southbank Boulevard exits There will be periodic closures of the two upper exit lanes from July – September and we will endeavour to minimise disruption during this time.

Left turn only onto Southbank Boulevard.

The two lower level exit lanes will be closed for the duration of construction. Vehicles on the lower level will be diverted to exit via Sturt Street.
Left turn only onto Southbank Boulevard with all four exit lanes operational.
Internal We may need to make minor operational changes and we will endeavour to minimise disruption during this time.. We're currently working with an external consultant to determine any required changes.

Road access during construction

Please ensure you plan your journey and allow extra travel time. Refer to the below table for road access to the Arts Centre Melbourne car park.

Traffic direction Route during construction
Southbank Boulevard No access between St Kilda Road and Sturt Street from July – September.
North bound on St Kilda Road A temporary detour via Grant Street and Sturt Street will be implemented.
Linlithgow Avenue Access via City Road and Alexandra Avenue.
Sturt Street Mostly accessible except for a temporary closure between ABC building and Melbourne Recital Centre from 22 – 30 September 2018 (9 days only).
City Road No change.
Kavanagh Street No change.

City of Melbourne have produced this video outlining changes to road conditions.


Keep checking this web page for up-to-date information on the project timelines, changed traffic conditions and any Arts Centre Melbourne car park changes. We'll keep updating it as more information becomes available.

If you're planning to visit us for an upcoming show, we'll also include a message in the pre-show email that we send to the email you booked your tickets through, which will remind you to check this page for updates to ensure you can have a smooth experience when you visit.

More project info

To find out more about the implementation of Transforming Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street, please contact 9658 9658 or visit

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