Tunnel boring machine Joan has broken through at the future State Library Station, in a step forward for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project.
Following close behind is TBM Meg, which will arrive at the State Library Station in early 2021.
The breakthrough comes after crews completed excavation of the rail tunnels at the station in early December. The 29m-wide, trinocular design will see three tunnels intersect, integrating the platforms and concourse on a single level.
So far, 75,000 cubic metres of rock and soil has been excavated to create a space more than 240m long and 30m wide.
TBM Joan will now complete her final stage from State Library Station to Town Hall Station.
“Our tunnel boring machines forge ahead underneath the city to deliver this project and keep thousands of Victorians in work,” said Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan.
Underground columns and roof beams are currently being built at the station, ahead of installation of the concrete lining on the station’s central arch.
Construction on other parts of the Victorian rail network have also broken new ground, with work now underway on a $1m upgrade of Kilmore East Station.
The funding is part of the state’s response to COVID-19’s economic impacts and is one of 16 stations to have facilities improved on the north-east corridor.
Initial works improve a newly painted façade and landscaping. Upgrades to the carpark and passenger facilities will follow. These include improved lighting, shelter, public announcement system, and refurbished bathrooms.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said that the works were part of satisfying community expectations.
“We continue to see growth in the north-east area so we’re delivering upgrades that passengers have asked for to help improve their travel experience.”
As part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, construction has begun on the Glenroy Road crossing and new Glenroy station. Utility relocation and foundations for the future rail trench are part of the project, delivered by an alliance of John Holland, Kellogg Brown and Root, and Metro Trains Melbourne.
“We haven’t wasted a minute removing level crossings – with 44 already gone, this year we’ll remove a crossing on average every four weeks to improve travel, make our suburbs safer, and supporting thousands of local jobs,” said Allan.