Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade

The Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade is Stage 2 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 Spencer Street Sewer Upgrade (Stage 1) which was completed in December 2018. 

Project Update – July 2020

Excavation of Spencer Street retrieval  shaft

A new works compound has been installed at the intersection of Lonsdale Street and Spencer Street. Works to excavate the Spencer Street retrieval shaft to a depth of 11 metres will start soon within the site. The Spencer Street works site will be active until October 2020. 

General construction noise can be expected at the site on weekdays from 7am to 6pm and on Saturdays from 7am to 3pm. On occasion 24-hour works and works throughout the weekend may be required. 

As a result of the Spencer Street works site, the following traffic changes will be in place until October 2020:

  • Two eastbound traffic lanes will be closed for approximately 100 metres between Spencer Street and Merriman Lane, leaving one eastbound lane open
  • One westbound traffic lane will be closed for approximately 100 metres between Spencer Street and Rose Lane, leaving two westbound lanes open
  • One kerbside southbound lane on Spencer Street will be closed at the intersection with Lonsdale Street
  • The pedestrian crossing on Lonsdale Street at Spencer Street will be closed.

LSSU

The Spencer Street works site (shown in green) will be in place from Monday 29 June until October 2020.

The Spencer Street retrieval shaft is an existing shaft that was excavated during works for the Spencer Street Sewer Upgrade. The shaft will be reopened to retrieve the tunnel boring machine (TBM) being used to build the new Lonsdale Street sewer. 

The TBM has so far tunnelled 100 metres from William Street, where it was launched in early June, with 250 metres to go before it reaches Spencer Street. The TBM is expected to arrive at Spencer Street in July 2020. Tunnel boring will not be noticeable above or below ground. 

Elizabeth Street Retrieval Shaft

Works are continuing at Elizabeth Street to connect the new Lonsdale Street sewer to the wider sewer network. The Elizabeth Street retrieval shaft site will be operating until October 2020. 

LSSU

The tunnel boring machine was retrieved from Elizabeth Street in May.

William Street Launch Shaft

The TBM is being operated from the William Street works site 24-hours a day from Mondays through to Sundays. Construction activity as part of 24-hour tunnelling works 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.

The William Street launch shaft site will be active until October 2020.

LSSU

At the bottom of the William Street launch shaft, 3-metre-long sewer pipes are being installed into the tunnel to construct the new Lonsdale Street sewer

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
  • Two eastbound traffic lanes will be closed for approximately 100 metres between Spencer Street and Merriman Lane, leaving one eastbound lane open
  • One westbound traffic lane will be closed for approximately 100 metres between Spencer Street and Rose Lane, leaving two westbound lanes open
  • 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

Project background

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.

Lonsdale map

Project Timeline

timelines

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
  • lonsdalestupgrade@citywestwater.com.au.

Sign up to receive regular project updates via email.

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 temporary 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.
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