City of Melbourne Council is set to revitalise the iconic Hardware Lane with $2 million in new streetscape works to improve pedestrian safety and help to attract more visitors to the area.
The major improvements include replacing the current red brick pavement with Melbourne’s distinctive bluestone paving along the length of the laneway, said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.
“Hardware Lane is an iconic part of our city – we’re delivering these critical works to protect it for decades to come and ensure it remains a top destination,” she said.
“The proposed design aims to strike a balance between preserving the look and feel of this beloved city laneway and making sure it’s safe.
“These improvements will offer a safer and more enjoyable experience for diners, pedestrians and vehicles who use the laneway every day.”
The existing red brick pavement on Hardware Lane was installed 35 years ago and has deteriorated over time, becoming slippery and uneven – posing a risk to public safety, the Mayor said.
Red brick paving will be retained on the privately owned driveway off Bourke Street, with new protective granite bollards installed to improve pedestrian access.
The proposed streetscape improvements also include:
- Installing new lighting above the laneway;
- 17 tree plantings to increase canopy cover;
- New street furniture;
- Creating a new pedestrian crossing on Little Bourke Street.
The streetscape works follow community consultation in 2018 and 2021, which found two-thirds of residents and traders support the proposed design.
Council confirmed the bluestone will be sourced from Melbourne suppliers, helping to support Victorian businesses and local jobs.
Councillors will vote on the proposed streetscape design at Tuesday’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting. If endorsed, the project will be put to tender before staged construction begins in mid-2023.