Geotechnical drilling on the Yarra River has begun as part of the largest public transport project in Victoria’s history – the Andrews Labor Government’s Melbourne Metro Rail Project.
Acting Premier James Merlino joined Acting Minister for Public Transport Luke Donnellan today to announce the beginning of works on a floating barge, from which the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority will gather information from deep under the Yarra.
From this floating work-site, 12 boreholes will be dug up to 35 metres below the riverbed, providing critical information about ground conditions. This information will help determine the exact technical specifications of the twin tunnels and how they will be built.
The two tunnels under the Yarra will be excavated using tunnel boring machines and sit around seven metres below the riverbed.
Tunnel boring machines are currently being used to build New York’s Second Avenue Subway project and London’s CrossRail project, and will reduce both the environmental impact on the river and inconvenience for locals, visitors and businesses.
Geotechnical investigations will continue for the next six weeks at various points on the river, ahead of enabling works in 2017 and the start of major construction in 2018.
Melbourne Metro Rail Project will unlock the centre of the train system, create space for 20,000 extra passengers in peak hour, and pave the way for future expansion of Victoria’s rail network.
The Labor Government has already committed $4.5 billion to Melbourne Metro Rail. Discussions will continue with the Turnbull Government about them providing Victorians a fair share towards this project.
For more information about Melbourne Metro Rail, visit www.mmrailproject.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier James Merlino
“This floating work-site will give us critical information about ground conditions under the Yarra, which help us build these two new rail tunnels beneath the mighty Yarra.”
“Melbourne Metro Rail will create a true underground metro, and unlock the centre of our train system to create space for more trains running more often, every single day.”
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Public Transport Luke Donnellan
“The new tunnels under the Yarra River will carry high-frequency, high-capacity trains into the heart of the city and enable 20,000 extra passengers to catch the train in peak hour.”
“After four wasted years under the previous Liberal Government, who abandoned Melbourne Metro Rail, we’re getting on with the projects that Victorian’s need.”