The design and builders for the major tunnelling works and five underground stations of the Metro Tunnel project have been announced.
Following competitive bids among internationally acclaimed designers and builders, the Cross Yarra Partnership consortium, comprising Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital, has been selected.
Cross Yarra Partnership members have worked on some of the biggest international rail projects in recent history, including Crossrail in London, Singapore Metro, and Express Rail Link in Hong Kong.
It is substantially the same consortium that was contracted to the previous Coalition State Government and was generously compensated when the current government scrapped the East West road project.
The package for the consortium also includes station fit-out, mechanical and electrical systems, maintenance services and commercial opportunities at the new stations.
Early works, including utility service relocations, construction site preparations, construction power and tram works, are currently underway and the major tunnelling and station constructions will begin next year.
The Metro Tunnel will allow interchanging with City Loop services, including a direct underground connection to link the CBD North station with the Melbourne Central concourse.
At CBD South, a direct underground connection from the new station to the Degraves St Subway leading to platforms at Flinders Street Station will allow passengers to move between Metro Tunnel and City Loop services.
CBD South will have eight different entrances – including a second entrance at City Square as well as access via Federation Square, the Degraves St Subway, Flinders St, Swanston St, Cocker Alley and Scott Alley.
Entrances to CBD North will be built at Franklin St and LaTrobe St.
Designs of the station fit-out feature wider platforms, natural lighting and sweeping arches.
The future Domain Metro Station will sit below the current Domain tram interchange stop on St Kilda Rd.
The Parkville Station will provide train access to hospitals and Melbourne University and the Arden Station will help create a new suburb in the Arden-Macaulay precinct just outside the CBD.