The Victorian government is narrowing down on construction candidates for stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop by starting an expressions of interest campaign.
A number of major construction companies have already signalled interest in the project by registering in the pre-qualification process.
The package of works will see roads and power supplies upgraded, new sub-stations built, utility relocations and protection, ground improvements, and sites across Melbourne’s south-east prepared to make way for massive tunnel boring machines.
The suburban rail loop authority has also sent out letters to 300 homes and businesses last month to let them know their property is in an “area of interest” for new train stations.
The precise locations and underground station footprints are yet to be determined and are expected in the first half of 2021.
The expressions of interest campaign closes on 29 January, 2021 with work to start on the project in 2022 from Cheltenham, through Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and finally to Box Hill.
The Victorian budget 2020-21 saw $2.2 billion invested to kickstart the procurement process, buy the land required for the tunnel boring machines launches and facilitate construction of the six new underground stations.
Stage one will connect the growing health, education, retail and employment precincts in Melbourne’s south east between Cheltenham and Box Hill, via 26-kilometre twin underground rail tunnels.
The proposed locations for the stage one train stations include the starting point of the line near Southland, adjacent to Monash and Deakin universities.
In the centre there will be Box Hill and Glen Waverley stations, as well as a major transport hub to be created north of Carinish Road, Clayton, connecting regional passengers to the loop.
Future stages will see the line continue through Melbourne’s northern suburbs to Melbourne Airport and around to Werribee.
Suburban Rail Loop minister Jacinta Allan said this is a critical investment in Victoria’s long-term liveability, and will support Melbourne’s continued growth to a global city of up to nine million people by 2050.
“This is the biggest transport project in Victorian history and it will transform our state forever—we know that the best construction companies want to be a part of delivering it,” Allan said.
“We said we’d get on and deliver stage one of Suburban Rail Loop and we’re not wasting a second, this early phase of construction is going to create hundreds of local jobs and make this huge project a reality.”
Meanwhile works continue on the Melbourne Metro Rail project with tunnel boring continuing between Parkville Station and the State Library Station, then they will move onto Swanston Street and the new Town Hall Station.
However the project has hit a number of hurdles and construction delays in recent weeks in relation to cost blowouts.