Following the selection of Swanston Street more than six months ago as the preferred alignment for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnels, the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority has concluded that disruption can be minimised after investigating a range of measures to reduce the impact of the project.
Following these investigations, which included further engineering and geotechnical work, the Authority has confirmed that CBD North and South Stations can be constructed entirely underground, rather than digging them out from the surface down.
Large holes will be excavated next to Swanston Street, the station boxes will be dug out from underneath, and the tunnels bored between the stations while the city keeps functioning above.
In a statement last week, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said this will significantly minimise disruption and enable trams to keep running through the heart of the city on Swanston Street. It also means cross-streets such as Collins Street and La Trobe Street won’t be closed as often or as long.
While this method of building the stations and tunnels under the city will reduce disruption, there are still expected to be significant impacts to Melbourne’s CBD while Melbourne Metro is built.
“There will still be disruption to the CBD during construction – you can’t build a project of this scale without some impact – but trams will keep running and less businesses will be affected,” Ms Allan said.
CBD North Station will be connected to Melbourne Central Station via underground walkways to both the concourse and platforms of the station.
Also last week, the Victorian Government commenced the process of notifying people whose properties are likely to be required as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, with 44 buildings across 94 titles identified for acquisition.
Fifteen of these are residential buildings, including nine houses in South Kensington, five in South Yarra and an apartment building in the CBD with 49 apartments. The remaining buildings are commercial properties, affecting 31 titles.
The acquisitions will be concentrated around the stations and tunnel entrances.
Properties will not be acquired until formal planning approvals have been achieved, which is expected by early 2017.
Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 27 October, 2015