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Metro Tunnel

Early works

The Early Works package includes the works required along the Metro Tunnel alignment to prepare sites for major construction and allow tunnelling and station excavation activities immediately after the Tunnels and Station contract is awarded in 2018.

Works to be undertaken prior to major construction of the tunnels and stations include:

  • Utility service relocation works to move underground and overhead services away from the Metro Tunnel construction sites. Services to be relocated include electricity cables, gas pipelines, sewerage lines and mains, storm water drains, telecommunications cables, and water lines and mains.
  • Site preparation works such as land clearing, property demolition, tree protection and removal, and the temporary relocation of important monuments including the Burke and Wills statue and South African Soldiers Memorial.
  • Tram diversions including rerouting the Route 8 tram from Domain Road in South Yarra to Toorak Road West and other supporting tram infrastructure works.
  • Supply of construction power to support the tunnel boring machines.

These works will be delivered by a Managing Contractor on behalf of the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority. The contract for the Early Works contract was awarded to John Holland in June 2016. Works on tram infrastructure will be undertaken by Yarra Trams under the existing tram franchisee agreement.

Early Works plans

As part of the requirements of the Metro Tunnel Incorporated Document, Early Works Plans are required to be prepared by contractors appointed to deliver Early Works for the Metro Tunnel Project and made available for public viewing and comment, prior to submission to the Minister for Planning for approval. See the Planning page for more information.

Station shafts

This Early Works package includes excavating massive shafts in the centre of Melbourne as part of preparations for the tunnel and the new underground stations in the CBD.

The station shafts will be up to 35 metres deep – more than 11 storeys below the ground – and involve the excavation of 34 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of soil and rock from beneath the city.

Excavation of the CBD North Station will involve two shafts – one at Franklin and one at A'Beckett Street – which will be covered by massive acoustic sheds to reduce noise for neighbouring residents and offices. 

Construction of CBD South will involve the partial demolition of the carpark underneath City Square.

Timing of works

Early works will be sequenced and coordinated to reduce disruption to residents, businesses and passengers, and will reduce future disruption when tunnels and stations construction commences in 2018.

Some minor and less intrusive work, including utility service relocations, began in 2016. These works were similar to works undertaken regularly by utility service providers basis and are not considered to have a significant effect on the environment and surrounding community.

Works overview

Scope of early construction works 

Kensington

  • Gas main
  • Power transmission main

Arden

  • HV power line

Parkville

  • Data connections
  • Telecommunications services
  • Other utility services
    (gas, water and sewerage)

CBD North

  • Franklin St station shaft
  • A'Beckett St station shaft
  • Telecommunications services
  • Other utility services
    (gas, water and sewerage)

CBD South

  • City Square carpark demolition

Domain

  • Main sewer line
  • Telecommunications services

Managing impacts

A number of mitigation measures have been identified to avoid, reduce or offset environmental impacts. These measures form the basis of the recommended Environmental Performance Requirements for Metro Tunnel and have been recommended by specialists through the EES process.

Some of the recommended Environmental Performance Requirements to manage potential Early Works impacts include:

  • Developing and implementing transport management plans in consultation with the relevant road management authorities to minimise disruption to traffic, car parking, pedestrian and bicycle movements during construction.
  • Developing and implementing a dust management and monitoring plan, in consultation with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, to minimise and monitor the impact of construction dust.
  • Implementing a communications plan to liaise with potentially affected community stakeholders and land owners regarding potential noise and vibration impacts prior to works occurring.
  • During detailed design, review potential tree impacts and maximise tree retention where possible.