Tunnelling under the CBD now in full swing

Construction is ramping up on the new Town Hall Station with tunnelling underway at all three CBD sites as part of the Metro Tunnel project. 

Three road headers have been launched from sites at Federation Square, City Square and Flinders Quarter (next to the Young & Jackson Hotel), with acoustic enclosures built to minimise noise and dust during excavation. 

Road headers are excavating machines fitted with a cutter head that are being used to mine out the caverns for both State Library and Town Hall stations in the CBD.

Each road header features a highly advanced computer with a mathematical guidance system that directs the machine to dig out the cavern to exact specifications.

The road headers are tunnelling deep below Swanston and Flinders streets to create the new stations, as well as the underground pedestrian connections that will make it easy for passengers to transfer between City Loop and Metro Tunnel services.

No trams will run along Flinders St between Elizabeth and Russell streets from Monday, March 23 until Sunday, March 29 so work crews can safely build the underground support structures of the underground pedestrian connection.

Flinders St eastbound lanes between Elizabeth and Swanston streets have been closed to traffic since September 2019 to build the underpass and will remain closed to cars for up to three years.

For more information about these works and the associated disruptions, visit metrotunnel.vic.gov.au. Plan ahead by visiting ptv.vic.gov.au or vicroads.vic.gov.au.

First section of the Metro Tunnel complete

The project celebrated a significant milestone recently with the first 1.2km section of the Metro Tunnel completed, after tunnel boring machine (TBM) Joan broke through at Kensington in February. 

Since her launch in August 2019, TBM Joan – named after former Premier Joan Kirner – has travelled 1.2 kilometres between the site of the new Arden Station and the western tunnel entrance in Kensington, installing 4200 curved concrete segments to create 700 rings lining the tunnel walls. 

The second TBM, Meg, named for Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, has been travelling on a parallel route to carve out the second tunnel between Arden and Kensington.

After breaking through, both TBMs will be retrieved from Kensington and trucked back to Arden where they will be reassembled and relaunched towards Parkville later this year •

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