Rail Projects Victoria is overseeing the delivery of Melbourne Airport Rail and has a team of design, engineering and construction experts working on the development and delivery of the project.
As part of Melbourne Airport Rail, a second rail bridge will be built over the Maribyrnong River Valley alongside the existing heritage bridge which was built in the 1920s.
The new rail bridge will be around the same height as the existing bridge, which is approximately 550m long and 50m high. It will become the second highest bridge in Victoria after the West Gate Bridge.
The rail bridge will be designed to complement the existing heritage rail bridge and minimise impacts to the landscape. It will also be built in a way to preserve the structure and sight lines of the existing heritage-listed bridge.
The new rail bridge is an opportunity to celebrate the local area, with Melbourne Airport Rail passengers being able to enjoy the far-reaching views of the Maribyrnong River Valley.
The new rail bridge will comprise an elevated twin track rail crossing to the west of the existing heritage rail bridge. The bridge will support Melbourne Airport Rail trains travelling in both directions to and from the airport.
The rail corridor crossing the Maribyrnong River Valley is highly constrained, with steep cliffs and existing infrastructure including the heritage rail bridge and a jet fuel pipeline. The new rail bridge has been designed to minimise potential impacts to existing infrastructure and the environment.
Planning and environmental specialists and design engineers are continuing to refine the design and construction approach to mitigate any potential impacts.
Construction will also be managed to minimise disturbance during migration and breeding periods of nationally protected species including the Australian Grayling and Growling Grass Frog which live in and around the Maribyrnong River.
Building the new rail bridge also provides an opportunity to remove weed species and replant native vegetation, which will be carried out in consultation with key stakeholders.
Planning and design work for the new bridge is underway, with multiple stages proposed for the construction of the new bridge. Some of these stages include excavation, piling of bridge foundations, and installation of bridge segments using tower cranes. During construction there may be disruption to the Maribyrnong River Trail. Clearly signed diversion routes will be in place to allow people to continue walking and cycling through this area.
Construction on Melbourne Airport Rail began in 2022 with a target opening date of 2029, subject to approvals.