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Metro Tunnel

CBD North service relocations

Work has begun in the CBD North area in preparation for major construction for the Metro Tunnel Project.

These works include site establishment, tree and vegetation removal, relocation and protection of underground utility services such as water, gas, power and telecommunications and shaft construction for the new rail tunnels and CBD North Station.

Franklin and A'Beckett Street will be closed for five years:

  • Franklin Street: from Swanston to Victoria Street
  • A'Beckett Street: from Stewart Street to Swanston

Site establishment

Additional site establishment work will be undertaken on Franklin Street and A'Beckett Street. Gantries and piling pads will be constructed in preparation for piling works

  • from late March on Franklin Street - between Victoria Street and Swanston Street
  • from early-mid May on A'Beckett Street - between Swanston Street and Stewart Street


Gantries will create an enclosed and well lit pedestrian walkway that provides a safety barrier between pedestrians and the construction site. These will be erected on the current walkways on the north and south side of Franklin Street and the north side of A'Beckett Street.

Piling pads

Construction of the piling pads involves excavating the road to create a flat-surfaced 'terrace' to support the piling rigs. There will be two terraces established on Franklin Street and one terrace established on A'Beckett Street.

Hoarding and barrier installation

Hoarding and barriers will be installed around the perimeter of the Franklin Street and A'Beckett Street sites. Concrete barriers will be delivered and placed during the night for the safety of pedestrians, vehicles and trams in the area. Hoarding fronts will then be installed during the day. This work is expected to have a low noise level impact and will be completed over one week per site.

Groundwater monitoring

Over the coming weeks we will be undertaking monitoring of existing underground wells to help provide information on groundwater conditions. These wells are generally located in the footpaths and roads around the CBD North precinct.

CBD North enabling works 

Service relocations

On Franklin Street - between Victoria Street and Swanston Street - the following service relocations are complete or currently in progress:

  • The new drainage and water services have been laid using the open-cut trenching method on the north side of Franklin Street. The trench will be backfilled and the area reinstated in late March
  • Gas works on Victoria Street and Swanston Street commenced in early-March and will continue until late April. This work will be completed at night between 9pm-5am.

On A'Beckett Street, the following works are underway:

  • Service identification will conclude in late March. This includes confirming the location of underground services to inform the design for relocation and/or protection of services.
  • Telecommunication relocation has commenced on Swanston Street and A'Beckett Street
  • Relocation of high voltage and low voltage electrical assets.

The additional planned service relocations still to be completed include:

  • Sewer, water and drainage relocation on the south side of Franklin street within our Franklin Street site compound
  • Night works for gas installation on Franklin Street, A'Beckett Street and Stewart Street starting in April are expected to be completed by May
  • Water, drainage and electrical service relocation works will commence in Franklin Street west (between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets) by late April and be completed by July 2017.

CBD  North service relocations 

How will the services be relocated?

Service relocations will be completed using two techniques.

Open cut trenching

The traditional and most popular method for service installation, repair, or replacement. Open cut trench excavation consists of excavating a trench for the manual installation of each piece of pipe. 

The open cut trench method involves excavating down to the required depth, installing or replacing the service, backfilling and reinstating the area.


A trenchless method of installing underground pipe, conduit, or cable along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area.

It is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and is used for crossing waterways, roadways, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are not possible.