Work has begun on one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects: two nine-kilometre underground rail tunnels that will transform Melbourne’s public transport system.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, in Parkville today to announce the establishment of the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority.
$40 million in funding from Labor’s $300 million election commitment has been fast-tracked to establish the Authority and start work on the project as soon as possible.
The Authority will oversee immediate planning works, complete development of the Reference Design and undertake detailed site investigations.
The project, which will create 3,500 jobs during peak construction, also includes five new underground stations to be located at Arden, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.
Melbourne Metro Rail, which links the Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham rail lines, is the foundation for the world-class public transport system that Victorians deserve. It will:
· Significantly increase the capacity of the whole system, so more trains can run more often
· Pave the way for the construction and extension of train lines in growth areas
· Transform our system into an international-style metro, similar to those in London and Hong Kong
The project also links passengers to Melbourne’s university and hospital precinct, and to major employment centres in Parkville and St Kilda Rd.
Project consultation and a business case update will commence immediately. An Expression of Interest will be released in 2016 with major construction expected to commence in 2018.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“This is the project that solves it all – more services, fewer delays and better public transport.”
“It’s the relief valve that ends the traffic jam in the City Loop so more trains can run on every line.”
Source: News Release, Victorian Government, 16 February, 2015