The Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade is stage two of a four-stage strategy to install a secondary 900-metre-long sewer line under Lonsdale Street.
The current sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity; this new sewer line will cater for the forecasted growth in Melbourne’s CBD.
Constructed via an underground tunnel boring machine, the project will link with the Stage One Spencer Street Sewer Upgrade completed in December 2018.
Construction works are scheduled to begin in October 2019 and be completed by late-2020.
Project Update – February 2020
Tunnel boring to commence 24-hour operations
On 24 February 2020, the project marked a significant milestone with the start of tunnel boring.
The tunnel boring machine (TBM) was successfully launched from the William Street launch shaft at a depth of 23 metres. The TBM has already dug about 30 metres in an easterly direction and has about 520 metres to go before it reaches the Elizabeth Street retrieval shaft in May 2020.
Starting from Wednesday 18 March, tunnelling works will start operating for 24 hours a day from the William Street launch shaft site. These works will start from 6am on Mondays and continue through to 6pm on Saturdays.
Tunnel boring will not be noticeable above or below ground, however, general construction noise can be expected at the William Street launch shaft site from 6am on Mondays to 6pm on Saturdays. Construction activity as part of 24-hour tunnelling works will involve:
- The use of a generator and pump associated with tunnel boring activities
- Excavator and truck movements which will intermittently generate additional noise with removal of tunnel spoil
- Brighter lighting at the William Street site which is required for safe night works.
Local water and sewerage services will not be impacted.
Elizabeth Street Retrieval Shaft
Excavation of the Elizabeth Street retrieval shaft is nearly complete to a depth of 10 metres. General construction noise can be expected at the Elizabeth Street retrieval shaft between 7am–6pm on weekdays and 7am–3pm on Saturdays. The site will be occupied until late May 2020.
William Street Launch Shaft
Construction of the William Street launch shaft has now finished at a depth of 23 metres. Minor works are being carried out to support TBM operations from the William Street shaft.
Moving around Lonsdale Street
We understand how critical it is to keep traffic moving on Lonsdale Street. We are working closely with the City of Melbourne and public transport operators to minimise impacts on traffic flow during works.
Current traffic changes to note:
- Two westbound traffic lanes are temporarily closed for approximately 100 metres between King Street and William Street. One westbound lane will remain open. One eastbound lane will also be closed leaving two eastbound lanes open
- Two westbound traffic lanes are temporarily closed for approximately 50 metres between Elizabeth Street and Queen Street. Eastbound lanes in this section remain unchanged.
- There are temporary changes to on street parking around the Elizabeth Street and William Street work sites
- Pedestrian and property access along Lonsdale Street remain unchanged. Businesses are operating as normal.
Please allow extra time when travelling through the area.
For more information about changes to public transport, please visit ptv.vic.gov.au.
The Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade is Stage 2 of a four-stage program to install a secondary 900-metre long sewer line under Lonsdale Street. The new sewer will link with the Spencer Street Sewer Upgrade (Stage 2) which was completed in December 2018.
These works are essential as Melbourne CBD’s current sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity. The new sewer will cater for forecasted population growth in the Melbourne CBD.
The new sewer line under Lonsdale Street will be constructed using an underground tunnel boring machine (TBM). In order to deploy and retrieve the TBM, launch and retrieval shafts will be excavated at three locations along Lonsdale Street. These are:
- A launch shaft on Lonsdale Street between King Street and William Street
- A retrieval shaft near the corner of Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street
- A retrieval shaft at the intersection of Lonsdale Street and Spencer Street.
Construction works are expected to finish by late-2020.
Contact the project team
If you have any questions or would like more information on the Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade project, please contact our project team via:
- 1800 491 528
Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be any impact on my water supply?
- No. Water and sewerage services will be not be impacted by these works and the project team is working with other service providers to ensure construction remains clear of all underground tunnels, wires, cables and pipes.
What construction impacts can I expect?
- There will be lane reductions along Lonsdale Street in both directions, however will remain open to buses and other vehicles in both directions. Allow extra time when driving through the area.
- Access to properties will not be affected but there will be temporary changes to on-street parking.
- There will be construction-related noise during the excavation of launch and retrieval shafts.
Why does CWW need to do these works?
- The current CBD sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity. The Victoria in Future 2019 report estimates growth of approximately 123,000 additional people within inner Melbourne over the next 17 years.
- To deliver a safe and reliable wastewater service to people living and working in Melbourne’s CBD, it is essential that we increase the capacity of the sewer network.