Locals and visitors will be able to watch construction of the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history from new viewing areas at City Square, as work ramps up on the Metro Tunnel.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle today unveiled two separate 10-metre long viewing areas on Swanston Street.
The new platforms will allow thousands of people each day to watch as this iconic landmark is transformed into Town Hall Station – one of five new underground stations on the Metro Tunnel project.
Large excavators fitted with a hydraulic hammer and a pulveriser will start demolishing the underground car park beneath City Square in coming days.
City Square is being demolished so that construction crews can dig 11 storeys below the ground to build the new Town Hall station, with most of City Square’s surface to be removed by mid-February.
This access tunnel will be used to transport workers and equipment to and from the surface as the station is built. Following construction of a temporary deck, the site will be covered by a massive acoustic shed towards the end of 2018.
To allow for the demolition of the City Square car park, Flinders Lane will close during the day between Russell and Swanston streets on 9 and 16 December.
It will then close for another four days between 7:00am and 6:00pm from 10 January, and 11 days from 30 January, timed to avoid the influx of visitors into the CBD for Christmas shopping and the Australian Open.
Work also continues on other Metro Tunnel packages, with bidders now shortlisted for the final package of works – the Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA).
The $1 billion RIA will connect the Metro Tunnel to the rest of the network by upgrading and building new infrastructure including a new platform and turnback facility at West Footscray station, and track and signalling work between Tottenham and Oakleigh.
The RIA will also build tunnel entrances where the Metro Tunnel joins the network in Kensington and South Yarra.
The shortlisted bidders for the RIA are CPB John Holland AECOM comprising CPB Contractors, John Holland, and AECOM Australia and Laing O’Rourke comprising Laing O’Rourke, Kellogg Brown & Root and WSP Australia.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The new viewing platforms will give people an incredible insight into construction of the new Town Hall Station.”
“There will be some disruption to Flinders Lane over the next two months while City Square is demolished. These works have been timed to minimise closures in the lead up to Christmas and during the Australian open.”
Quotes attributable to City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle
“This innovative design solution will give Melburnians and visitors the chance to get up close to Australia’s largest public transport project.”
“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the hydraulic hammer with pulveriser attachment, which I have affectionately dubbed ‘the crusher’ in action.”