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Big Build’s big year 

As 2021 draws to a close, we’re reflecting on the events of another BIG year on the $80 billion Big Build.

Our work continues to support the state’s economy by creating and supporting 50,000 jobs. We’ve passed 150 million hours worked on our critical road and rail projects.

Pandemic impacts

As Victorians endured long lockdowns and COVID restrictions, work continued on our road and rail projects across the state.

The lockdowns had a huge impact on our lives and our work. The unprecedented 2-week construction industry shutdown in September tested our resilience.

Safety is our number one priority and the 2-week industry shutdown gave us an opportunity to reset and boost our safety processes on site.

All on-site workers now have their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine – in line with public health orders. More than 14,000 of our workers had recorded their vaccination status at the last count.

We worked with our construction partners and unions to prepare sites in line with public health orders. This included setting up sheltered, open-air rest areas where possible, appointing Covid marshals and a range of other strict processes to record workers movements and vaccination status.

Other safety measures were in place prior to the shut-down and continue, including safety inspections, with 12,000 COVID inspections carried out to date.

Project milestones

Tunnelling is now complete on the Metro Tunnel, with 1.8 million cubic metres of soil excavated – a huge achievement.

Work continues on the 5 new underground stations – with some of the big acoustic sheds about to be pulled down, giving Melburnians the first glimpse of what’s been happening for the past 5 years.

We’ve successfully removed another 12 dangerous and congested level crossings this year, with 56 gone so far. Construction is underway on another 15, with 85 set to go by 2025.

Across the network we’ve built or upgraded 41 stations, with more than 37 stations currently under construction.

On the roads, 17 major road projects are now complete. The new Mordialloc Freeway opened a year ahead of schedule.

The 2 sides of the Echuca Moama Bridge have joined in the middle – another great achievement that will link the border communities once opened.

Work on the Westgate Freeway widening is almost done. This major stage of work will increase the lanes from 8 to 12, with the first spans of elevated motorway over Footscray Road now installed.

The Ballarat Line Upgrade is complete, delivering 125 extra weekly services and critical infrastructure. Detailed planning is advancing on stage 1 of Geelong Fast Rail.

Contracts have been signed and work will begin next year on Suburban Rail Loop and for the main tunnelling of North East Link. Planning is advancing on Melbourne Airport Rail too.

We’ve opened new walking and cycling paths, including reopening the Upfield Bike Path. There's now more than 100kms of new active transport infrastructure to explore.

More than 2760 car parks have been added to the rail network – that's the equivalent of the car parks at Westfield Southland.

The Recycled First Program – a materials re-use initiative – has had amazing success this year, with more than 7.2 billion litres of recycled materials used on our projects.

There’s so much more to come next year, we can’t wait to get started.

Victoria's Big Build