Work on $11bn Metro Tunnel project in VIC ramps up

Monica Gameng   |   June 7, 2020

Construction on the $11 billion Metro Tunnel in Victoria is well underway with all four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) now underground to dig the project’s twin tunnels across Melbourne. 

Works are continuing at all of Metro Tunnel’s established work sites where strict safety measures have been implemented to ensure that the project carries on with supporting jobs and businesses across the region through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re making significant progress in this landmark project – with all four tunnel boring machines in the ground. 

“Big construction projects like the Metro Tunnel are more important than ever as we rebuild from the pandemic – kickstarting our economy and supporting thousands of jobs,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. 

The first TBMs – Joan and Meg – were launched in 2019 and have since completed their 1.2-kilometre journey from Arden to the western tunnel entrance located in Kensington early in 2020. In May, TBM Joan was relaunched from the Arden site and will make its way to the future Parkville Station site. On the other hand, TBM Meg was relaunched in early June following all essential checks. 

In April, TBM Millie was launched from the Anzac Station site and will be digging towards the project’s eastern entrance at South Yarra. Lastly, TBM Alice was launched in May to dig the parallel tunnel. 

The four TBMs are named after prominent Victorian women, namely Victoria’s first female Premier Joan Kirner, Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, the State’s first female Member of Parliament Lady Millie Peacock, and medical hero Alice Appleford. 

MM-WEB-20171204-BenefitsSource: Metro Tunnel

In addition to the progress in tunnelling, significant works are also getting underway across the entire project. This includes the completion of the box station excavation works at Grattan Street for the future Parkville Station; and installation of 50 steel columns at the State Library Station site. 

This multi-billion-dollar development is on track to be completed in 2025, which is a year ahead of its expected completion. 

The Metro Tunnel project is comprised of: 

  • Twin nine-kilometre rail tunnels that runs from the west of the city to the south-east as part of a new Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham line 
  • New underground stations at Arden, Parkville, Domain and the two new CBD stations directly connected to the City Loop at Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations 
  • Train/tram interchange between Anzac Station and the Domain Interchange 
  • High capacity signalling to maximise the efficiency of the new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains 

Once completed, Metro Tunnel will be able to provide an end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the south-east. It will also enable for more trains running more often across Victoria which are less crowded and more reliable. 

The delivery of Metro Tunnel is overseen by Rail Projects Victoria while construction of the tunnels and stations are being undertaken by the Cross Yarra Partnership consortium – comprised of Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital. 

“The team have worked around-the-clock to get the four tunnel boring machines underway, while observing social distancing and keeping workers safe,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. 

Metro Tunnel is expected to support up to 7,000 jobs, with hundreds of opportunities for apprentices and trainees. 

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Source: Premier of Victoria; Metro Tunnel (1, 2, 3); The Urban Developer 

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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