Tunnel boring commences as part of major sewer network upgrade

A tunnel boring machine (TBM), which will be used to help install a new sewer as part of the biggest upgrade to Melbourne CBD’s sewer network in more than 120 years, has started tunnelling works.

As part of the Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade, the TBM has been lowered into a 23-metre deep shaft on William Street to undertake tunnelling works to construct the 900-metre long sewer main under Lonsdale Street, between Elizabeth Street and Spencer Street. 

The 6.3-metre-long, 16.3 tonne TBM will first excavate from William Street to Elizabeth Street and will then return to the William Street shaft to complete excavation works towards Spencer Street. 

City West Water Acting Managing Director, Maree Lang said the Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade was part of an $80 million capital improvement program to upgrade Melbourne CBD’s sewer system. 

“The current CBD sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity,” she said. 

“The upgrade is vital to support Melbourne’s anticipated growth and in ensuring reliability of sewerage services for everyone who lives, works and visits our city for generations to come.”

“After several months of planning, preparation and working closely with stakeholders for the Lonsdale Street sewer works, we are very pleased that tunnel boring is now underway.” 

Expected to be completed by the end of the year, the Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade will connect with the Spencer Street Upgrade, which was recently completed in December 2018. 

Together these projects form part of City West Water’s $80 million capital improvement program to help secure wastewater services for people living and working in Melbourne CBD.

Further information about the Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade project can be found at:  www.citywestwater.com.au/lonsdalest