Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Passenger Rail

Metro tunnel construction impact surveys begin

Melbourne Metro rail tunnel. Graphic: Victorian Government

The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority has launched a community engagement program for local residents who may be affected by the construction of the new underground rail network.

Letters have been sent to 21,000 residents and businesses along the alignment of the new, nine kilometre, twin rail tunnels being built as part of the $9 – $11 billion project.

“This consultation process is about starting open, honest and respectful conversations with people who may be affected by this critical project,” Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan said.

The Victorian Government has warned the construction of the Metro tunnel will cause “significant disruption”.

“The nature of that disruption will vary widely along the length of the corridor,” the government said in a statement, “however, it will include temporary noise and visual impacts during construction, changes to infrastructure close to houses and businesses and, in some cases, acquisition of property.”

Melbourne Metro Rail Authority – a government body – has committed to work closely with all affected property owners, traders and residents “to ensure they understand the project and the process”.

Information sessions will be held in October and November.

The tunnel is part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, designed to transform the public transport network in Victoria’s capital by unlocking capacity in the centre of the train system. It’s estimated the project will provide room for 20,000 extra passengers in the network every hour.

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to appeal to the Commonwealth for funding for the project. The state has committed $4.5 billion already.

“Melbourne needs Melbourne Metro Rail,” Allan campaigned, “without it our city will grind to a halt.”