Construction on Victoria’s Big Build has made significant progress this year, despite many challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Strict COVIDSafe Plans and a range of safety initiatives have allowed critical projects to continue.
Additional highlights from the year include:
- more than 18,000 people working on Victoria’s Big Build
- completed over 100 million hours worked since 2015
- 44 dangerous and congested level crossings now gone for good – over halfway to removing 75 by 2025
- more than half of the tunnelling for the Metro Tunnel is complete
- over 5000 site safety inspections undertaken to keep workers and the community safe.
Level Crossing Removal Project
The state’s biggest ever level crossing removal project was completed two weeks early, and trains are back running on the Upfield Line. Crews worked around the clock to get rid of four dangerous and congested level crossings and build a 2.5 kilometre elevated rail bridge. The new Coburg and Moreland stations are now open to passengers, just in time for the New Year.
Early works to remove the Clyde Road, Berwick level crossing are laying the groundwork for major construction to start in early 2021.
Major work also started on the Cranbourne Line Upgrade, which will deliver safer, more reliable journeys for Melbourne’s growing south-east.
The project hit a huge milestone in September by completing 50 per cent of tunnelling. Since then, two tunnel boring machines also began their journey towards the new State Library site, with one breaking through last week as we wrap up 2020. The other two will follow shortly, making their way to the new Town Hall site.
North East Link
Builders have started moving water, sewer and other utilities out of the way at Borlase Reserve as works continue to step up on Victoria’s biggest road project. Crews have laid over 500 metres of gas pipe along Greensborough Road, Yallambie.
A new site compound and haul roads have also gone up at Borlase Reserve, ready to help builders with the massive task of moving close to 100 below and above-ground services before major construction in 2021.
West Gate Tunnel
In the west, a huge 116-metre-long gantry crane has been installed to build an elevated road above Footscray Road.
Two pedestrian bridges over the West Gate Freeway were removed to make room for widening the freeway from 8 to 12 through-lanes. The new pedestrian bridges were placed over the freeway and the first of the two will be open to the public soon.
Major road projects
Crews have taken advantage of the quieter conditions and installed huge gantries as part of Stage 2 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade. Extra lanes and smart freeway technology will increase reliability for the 470,000 vehicles usually driving this critical freight route daily.
The Echuca-Moama Bridge is progressing well, the foundations are complete and the team is now installing the first of 125 bridge beams.
Major work to upgrade Dohertys Road in Melbourne’s west is also complete.
Regional Rail Revival
Giant 60-tonne concrete beams were installed to form the superstructure on the Avon River Bridge in Gippsland as part of Regional Rail Revival works. The bridge is now open and the first trains travelled along the new tracks in December 2020.
Construction started on the Waurn Ponds Station upgrade. The upgrade includes a new platform and extra track to create enough space for trains to pass each other, allowing for more Geelong services to and from Waurn Ponds, helping to improve service reliability.
Suburban Rail Loop
Workers drilled boreholes at over 200 sites, as part of important geotechnical investigations to inform the planning of Stage 1 between Cheltenham and Box Hill. Concept designs and expert engineering assessments have also developed further in the last 6 months.
The Recycled First initiative is improving sustainability and increasing the use of recycled materials in our projects.
To date, the Mordialloc Freeway has used more than 37,000 tonnes of recycled crushed concrete and almost 2400 tonnes of recycled material has been used in concrete elements. Up to 30 per cent of the asphalt to be laid will also be made up of recycled materials.
More than 90,000 plastic bags and toner from 13,000 print cartridges have been used to resurface a section of Duncans Road in Werribee.