The Melbourne Metro Rail Project is taking shape, with the Andrews Labor Government choosing tunnelling as the preferred method for the crossing underneath the Yarra River.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today to announce that tunnel boring machines will be used to excavate the two Melbourne Metro rail tunnels between the new CBD South and Domain stations.
The Government is getting on with planning and development for this transformative project, with $4.5 billion in funding already secured, almost half the total expected cost.
Tunnel boring machines are currently being used to build New York’s Second Avenue Subway project and London’s CrossRail project.
The use of tunnel boring machines will reduce the environmental impact on the river and limit inconvenience to local small businesses and Melbourne’s pedestrians and commuters.
Other techniques would significantly disrupt the Yarra River and its surrounds by either damming or creating an immersed tube tunnel, which involves dredging of the river bed.
Tunnel boring machines allow for excavation through varying ground conditions and have specialised cutting heads designed to grind through soil and rock, with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
The machines also enable the excavated tunnel to be immediately sealed with a concrete lining.
The tunnel will be eleven metres below the surface and will sit to the east of the Princes Bridge, around seven metres below the riverbed.
The details of the final location, design and construction methodology for the tunnels will be determined by the appointed construction contractor.
Melbourne Metro will deliver two new nine-kilometre rail tunnels and five new stations to Melbourne’s rail network, unlocking capacity in the City Loop so more trains can run more often.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We promised to build Melbourne Metro Rail so more trains can run more often, and we’re getting on with it.”
“This is the biggest overhaul to our train network since the construction of the City Loop.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Tunnelling under the Yarra will reduce disruption to the environment and to local businesses.”
“It’s an exciting time for Victoria. The projects that our state needs are underway, so people can get home to their families safer and sooner.”