Construction company John Holland has been awarded the first major Melbourne Metro Tunnel contract, which includes excavating massive shafts in the center of Melbourne as part of preparations for the tunnel and the new underground stations in the CBD.
The $324 million ($240 million US) works package includes the excavation of huge open shafts adjacent to Swanston Street to enable the underground construction of the two new city stations.
The station shafts will be up to 35 m deep – more than 11 stories below the ground – and involve the excavation of 34 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of soil and rock from beneath the city.
Excavation of the CBD North Station will involve two shafts – at Franklin and A’Beckett Street – which will be covered by massive acoustic sheds to reduce noise for neighboring residents and offices. Construction of CBD South will be involve the partial demolition of a carpark underneath City Square.
Building the shafts as part of this package will enable crews to get straight to work building the stations and tunnel underneath Swanston Street.
Other works in the package include the relocation and protection of up to 100 utilities, including gas, power and telecommunications services, and the 120-year-old brick main sewer line under the Domain interchange.
These works will start within weeks, with work on the stations shafts to begin next year, following the conclusion of Environment Effects Statement (EES) process currently underway and formal planning approval for the project.