Tunnel boring machine Joan has broken through at the future State Library Station, in a step forward for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project. Read more
The first tunnel boring machine (TBM) has broken through into the future Parkville station as it excavates from Ardern Station to the State Library Station.
This is the first TBM to make it to Parkville after being launched in May, with the second TBM to make it to Parkville in the next weeks.
The TBM is now being moved through the station box. During this period the TBM will be cleaned and recommissioned before being launched towards the State Library Station.
All four TBMs are currently excavating future metro tunnels underneath Melbourne.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan thanked those working on the project for their efforts.
“It’s fantastic to see [TBM] Joan arrive at the future Parkville station. The Metro Tunnel is working through the pandemic supporting thousands of jobs, while creating the new space to run more trains more often.”
The stations themselves are also progressing, with work on the permanent structure for Parkville Station below Grattan Street taking place. Station entrances are also currently under construction.
The project is creating nearly 7,000 jobs and those currently on site are required to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures due to Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions.
“Construction of the Metro Tunnel is continuing under strict health requirements – keeping workers safe while they deliver this vital project,” said Allan.
With the 1.2-kilometre tunnels between Arden and the western tunnel entrance in Kensington completed last year and tunnelling underway from Anzac Station to the eastern tunnel entrance at South Yarra, more than 290,000 cubic metres of rock and soil have been excavated. 23,000 concrete segments have been installed to line the walls of the tunnels.
Once complete, estimated in 2025, the project increase Melbourne’s rail capacity by half a million passengers a week during the peaks.
Melbourne’s State Library station will be 240m long and 30m wide, and its 19m platforms will be some of the widest underground metro platforms in the world.
The first permanent building works for the station are now underway, and a concrete floor has been installed that will form part of the future platform.
Three roadheaders have dug 36m under Swanston Street while also excavating the station length of 240m between Franklin and La Trobe Streets.
Later this year, they will go back underground to dig out the rail tunnels on each side of the central station cavern.
State Library and Town Hall stations will feature ‘trinocular caverns’ – three overlapping tunnels dug by road headers which will allow the concourse and platforms to be integrated on one level.
500 tonnes of rock are being excavated every day as the roadheaders are equipped with cutterheads that smash through rock three times harder than concrete.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan inspected progress on the construction happening at State Library station on Thursday morning.
“A huge amount of work continues to be done at State Library Station, with the platform already taking shape,” said Andrews.
Allan said the Metro Tunnel is the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history.
Major construction is continuing in the northern end of Swanston Street at the site of the future State Library Station throughout February this year.
The $11 billion project is set to be completed by 2025.
The eastbound lanes of Flinders Street, Melbourne will be closed to traffic between Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street for up to three years while works on the Metro Tunnel project are carried out.
The closure will begin from September 2, and the Victorian Government has warned of significant disruption to traffic. Trams will continue to run through the area in both directions in an attempt to ease the ensuing congestion however, with the exception of October 2–7.
The closure will cut truck movements on Swanston Street in half to around 100 trucks a day during peak construction in late 2020, with the full footpath on Flinders Street scheduled to re-open to pedestrians in late 2020
“This is a significant closure, but we need to do it – it’s the only way to build this vital underground connection between Flinders Street and the Metro Tunnel station,” said Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan.
“We know how disruptive this major construction will be so we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruptions and impacts on local residents, businesses and people visiting the city.”
Access for pedestrians and vehicles will be kept for residents and local businesses, with loading bays in place to the east of Elizabeth Street for drop-offs and deliveries. A new footpath will be constructed for pedestrians to the west of Degraves Street so that pedestrians can cross to the south side of Flinders Street, maintaining access to the tram stop.
The $5 billion Metro Tunnel project reached a drilling milestone last week as roadheaders broke through to the site of the State Library Station 30 metres below the Swanston Street surface. It is one of five new underground stations that will be built for the nine-kilometre project by 2025.
Victoria’s Metro Tunnel project has reached a significant project milestone by connecting two caverns at the point that will become the new State Library Station in Melbourne.
Three of the seven roadheader drills being used for underground tunneling works on the project in the city’s central business district met 30 metres underground at the site where the station will be built on Thursday.
Rail Projects Victoria expects excavation of the station area is to be completed by late 2020. The breakthrough, which took eight months to achieve, took place below Swanston Street between Franklin East and A’Beckett Street.
Four roadheaders will be employed for the State Library Station excavation, with the other three to be used for excavation of Town Hall Station.
“In total, more than 500,000 tonnes of material will be excavated – the equivalent of almost 70 Olympic swimming pools – with 1,500 tonnes of rock and soil removed every 24 hours,” the government said in a statement.
The $5 billion Metro Tunnel project will build five stations from North Melbourne to Anzac over a distance of nine kilometres. It is set for completion by 2025.