Seven kilometres of ground has been drilled by Suburban Rail Loop workers in preparation for the $2.2 billion Victorian railway corridor.
The 26-kilometre corridor will run between Cheltenham and Box Hill with the 2020/21 Victorian Budget providing $2.2 billion to kickstart the procurement process and buy the necessary land needed for launching the tunnel boring machines (TBM).
Early works have seen over 425 boreholes and geotechnical investigations being drilled between Cheltenham and Box Hill with over five drilling rigs currently in the ground. Two more drilling rigs are set to arrive in the following weeks.
Over 10,000 laboratory tests have also been completed as part of the projects land and groundwater survey with laser and CCTV technology being used to inspect the South East Trunk Sewer.
Other early work will see modified roads, relocated utilities, ground improvements trials, tram terminus works and preparation of more sites across south-east Melbourne.
Jacinta Allan, Minister for Suburban Rail Loop said, “We said we’d get on and deliver Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop and we’re not wasting a second – this early phase of construction will create hundreds of local jobs and make this important project a reality.”
Stage one of construction is set to commence early 2022 with twin 26-kilometre underground tunnels being built along with six underground stations at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.
Final details regarding the precise locations, entrances and design elements are yet to be released.
The state government has announced CPB Contractors, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke are in line to build these projects, with one of these companies set to complete the first stage of the project.
“These new underground stations will deliver fast and convenient journeys – confirming the station locations and entrances for Stage One brings us a step closer to starting work on this transformational project,” says Allan.