By Edward McLeish
Staged lane reductions have begun on Lonsdale St to install a new sewer pipeline between Spencer and Elizabeth streets, as part of the biggest upgrade to Melbourne CBD’s sewer network in 120 years.
General manager of infrastructure and delivery at City West Water Maree Lang said Lonsdale St would remain open in both directions during construction, though road users could expect some disruptions as works were carried out over the next 12 months.
“To do this work safely, we need to reduce both eastbound and westbound lanes, as well as on-street parking around the sites,” Ms Lang said.
“As a busy bus corridor, we’ve also worked closely with road and transport operators to maintain normal timetables along Lonsdale St, though commuters can expect short delays when passing through the works area.”
The lane reductions are required to construct one 900 metre-long, 1.4-metre-wide pipe, with the help of a tunnel boring machine (TBM).
Working to a depth of 23 metres below street level, the TBM will be launched and retrieved across three work sites along the west-end of Lonsdale St, with the first site under way between King and William streets.
Sites at Elizabeth St and Spencer St intersections will follow early next year and remain in place until late-2020.
Ms Lang said local water and sewerage services wouldn’t be affected, and access to businesses and residential apartments along Lonsdale St would be maintained at all times.
“We’re doing all we can to minimise the impact of this necessary work, so all of our customers can move through the area safely and get on with their day,” Ms Lang said.
Upon completion, these works will connect to the recently finished Spencer St sewer upgrade, with both projects forming part of an $80 million capital improvement program to maintain service reliability for Melbourne’s fast-growing population.
Roads will be monitored in real time and traffic lights modified to increase capacity at key intersections, with bus priority at peak times.
For more information about the project visit citywestwater.com.au/about_us/major_projects/lonsdale_street_sewer_upgrade