Excavation Kick Starts Major Parkville Station Construction

Workers have begun excavating around 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of rock and soil as they build the new underground Parkville Station, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project.

Acting Premier James Merlino today joined Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan at the Metro Tunnel’s Parkville worksite, where crews are digging the 270-metre long and 30-metre-wide station box around 30 metres below Grattan Street, between Leicester Street and Royal Parade.

Excavators will initially dig around three metres deep, while a temporary deck made of concrete and steel is simultaneously built at surface level to reduce noise and dust impacts.

Digging will continue once the deck is completed by March, with trucks heading underground via a ramp to remove rock and soil from beneath the deck.

Once the excavation reaches around 15 metres it will be too deep for trucks to enter, so gantry cranes will be used to lower buckets through holes in the deck to collect rock and soil. The cranes will then lower excavated material into trucks inside two acoustic enclosures at surface level, before the trucks exit the site.

The first of three massive gantry cranes have already been installed over the site. The 20-metre high cranes will help remove up to 35 tonnes of rock and soil at a time from beneath the deck and lower construction equipment and materials into the excavated space. All three cranes will be installed by the end of February 2019.

Excavation will continue until the end of this year, with around 200,000 cubic metres of rock and soil to be removed from the site in 2019. Once complete, station construction and fit-out will continue underground.

The Parkville work site was a hive of activity last year, with crews undertaking a range of works, including closing a section of Grattan Street, relocating underground services, establishing site facilities, building covered pedestrian walkways and demolishing the former City Ford buildings to create a holding area for trucks waiting to access site.

The date more than 550 piles have been installed at Parkville, including 330 around the perimeter of the new station box. The piles form the underground support structure that has allowed excavation to safely start.

Construction is well underway on all five Metro Tunnel Stations – the new North Melbourne (near Arden Street), Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac.

The Andrews Labor Government’s Metro Tunnel Project is a year ahead of schedule, with the first train set to run through the tunnel in 2025.