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Metro Tunnel

Overview of works in North Melbourne

Works to construct the new North Melbourne Station began in 2017.

Beginning March 2018, Cross Yarra Partnership will commence site establishment and preparation activities, including the installation of site offices and facilities, piling and preparation for excavation of the station box.

John Holland was appointed as the Managing Contractor for a package of works which includes service relocation, tree and vegetation removal and demolition of existing buildings within Government-owned land in Arden. These works are now completed.

Beon Energy Solutions was appointed as the contractor responsible for the construction of a temporary electrical substation within the North Melbourne Station construction site. This substation will provide power for the tunnel boring machines required to build the Metro Tunnel. These works completed early 2018.

Map of Arden site establishment in March 2018

What we are doing

Site preparation

  • Large trucks delivering equipment and materials, using Arden and Laurens streets.
  • Constructing temporary site offices and facilities.
  • Installing hoarding along the western and southern boundaries of the site.
  • Delivery and construction of crawler cranes.
  • Making minor modifications to the existing hoarding and gates.
  • Trimming of tree branches along Laurens Street that overhang the site shed location, as shown on the map.
  • Service investigations, using non-destructive drilling (NDD) and CCTV inspections throughout the site.
  • Commissioning and connecting site facilities to the temporary electrical substation.
  • Minor earthworks to level the ground.

Bicycle lane reinstatement works

Reinstatement works will be undertaken on the western bicycle lane on Laurens Street (between Queensberry and Barwise streets). This will involve cutting back the temporary asphalt and replacing it with permanent asphalt.

Further information on the bicycle lane reinstatement will be provided ahead of works commencing.

Constructing a temporary bentonite plant

Bentonite is a type of clay often used to help stabilise earthen walls. At Arden, it will be used to construct the diaphragm walls required to support excavation activities, ahead of piling and construction of the station box.

Construction involves:

  • Minor earthworks to level the area.
  • Pouring a concrete slab and installing foundations for new silo structures.
  • Installing six silos up to 11 metres tall and other associated equipment.
  • The bentonite plant is expected to be completed and commissioned in mid-April.

Preparing for station box excavation

Diaphragm walls and concrete piles will be installed to support the station box excavation.

Piling platform

The process starts by constructing a piling platform. This involves strengthening the ground to enable cranes and other heavy construction equipment to safely drive and operate across the site during construction. Works will commence in late-March until end of May 2018.

This is done by:

  • Up to 80 trucks per day accessing the site, via Arden and Laurens streets.
  • Removing unsuitable soil and material.
  • Delivering, spreading and compacting new ground materials.
  • Pouring a concrete slab at ground level.

Diaphragm walls

Diaphragm walls (D-walls) are 80-100cm thick concrete slabs that are installed to a depth of 30 metres along the sides of the station box. This work will commence in mid-April and will continue until late-2018.

These are constructed by:

  • A trench cutter excavating a hole the size of the D-wall panel.
  • Inserting bentonite into the cutting to support the excavation.
  • Using a crane to lower reinforcement cages into the excavation.
  • Pouring concrete into the excavation to create the D-wall.
  • Joining each panel together to create strong walls along each side of the station box.


Piling is also to commence in mid-April, within the station box area.

This involves:

  • Using a drill rig to bore a hole up to 40 metres deep.
  • Using a crane to lower reinforcement cages into the hole.
  • Pouring concrete into the hole to create the pile.

Up to 50 trucks per day are required to deliver reinforcement cages and concrete, and remove spoil for D-wall and pile construction. All trucks will enter the site via Arden and Laurens streets.

Piling and D-wall construction are expected to continue until November 2018.

Constructing flood compensation storage basins

The Arden Precinct sits within a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay, which applies to land affected by flooding
associated with waterways (Moonee Ponds Creek) and open drainage systems.

Flood compensation storage basins will be built on site to minimise the risk of flooding. This will involve minor earthworks to construct a basin where rainwater run-off can be temporarily stored during heavy rainfall events. This work will be undertaken between April and May 2018.

Temporary construction support for works occurring in the CBD

The Arden construction site will be used as a support site to stockpile equipment and assemble materials for works occurring in the CBD until mid-2018.

This will involve transportation of equipment and materials to and from the site via Arden and Laurens streets.


All works will be undertaken during normal working hours 7am – 6pm, Monday to Friday and 7am – 1pm, Saturdays except where some out of hours deliveries are required.

More information