The Victorian government has announced that the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project’s eastern entrance at South Yarra has been completed more than five months ahead of schedule with work now underway to connect the new structure with the project’s twin tunnels.
“To have the first tunnel entrance completed ahead of schedule is a huge milestone as we stride closer to completing the Metro Tunnel that will bring more trains to our suburbs and slash travel times,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.
The work included widening the existing rail corridor, excavating more than 31,000 cubic metres of rock and soil, and building a base slab, internal walls and roof slab using more than 7,700 cubic metres of concrete and almost 8,000 tonnes of reinforced steel.
The South Yarra eastern entrance took two years of construction works which also included the demolition of the old William Street Bridge and the construction of a new, longer single–span bridge. The workers also moved the existing four rail tracks for the Frankston, Cranbourne, Dandenong and Pakenham lines to make space for new tracks into the tunnel entrance.
When the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project is complete in 2025, a year ahead of schedule, Cranbourne and Pakenham line trains will enter the tunnel near William Street and pass under the citybound Frankston Line and both Sandringham lines before travelling west underground below Toorak Road and St Kilda Road to the new Anzac station.
In the past week, a section of the nearby tunnel boring machine retrieval shaft, where TBMs Millie and Alice were retrieved after tunnelling from Anzac station late last year, was demolished, connecting the tunnels to the entrance structure for the first time.
Other construction taking place during 2021 includes an underground substation at the South Yarra Siding Reserve and rail systems equipment rooms at Chambers Street, as well as landscaping at the reserve and Lovers Walk to restore these areas as public open space.
The TBMs are continuing work at pace on the project’s twin 9 km tunnels, with three-quarters of tunnelling now complete. TBM Joan began her final leg in February under Swanston Street towards Town Hall station, while TBM Meg will soon relaunch to dig a parallel tunnel. In the east, TBMs Alice and Millie continue their last drive under the Yarra River towards the CBD from the Anzac station site.
When the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project is complete in 2025, a year ahead of schedule, Cranbourne and Pakenham line trains will enter the tunnel near William Street and pass under the citybound Frankston Line and both Sandringham lines before travelling west underground below Toorak Road and St Kilda Road to the new Anzac station. When Melbourne Airport Rail is complete, trains will run from Pakenham and Cranbourne through this tunnel entrance directly to the airport.