Major works are set to begin on Australia’s biggest public transport project, the $10.9 billion Metro Tunnel in Melbourne, in April 2017, with extensive investigations now complete.

Over the past two years, more than 270 boreholes have been drilled up to 50m deep along the Metro Tunnel alignment.

Soil and rock samples that have been collected show that the sedimentary rock beneath the city was formed 416 to 440 million years ago.

They provide critical information about ground conditions under the city, which will inform the design and construction of the Metro Tunnel and its five new underground stations.

In early April 2017, City Square will be surrounded by hoarding and closed for several years while construction crews dig more than 11 storeys below the city to build the brand new underground station.

Victorian Premier DanielMr Andrews said, “Melbourne needs the Metro Tunnel and we’re getting on with it. Geotechnical investigation is now complete and major work about to start.

“This project will create thousands of local jobs and free up space in the City Loop to run more trains, more often across Melbourne.”

Construction will continue at Franklin and A’Beckett Streets in April, and in and around St Kilda Road at Domain.

The acceleration of Metro Tunnel works will coincide with a construction blitz across Victoria, which will affect services on the Cranbourne, Craigieburn, Frankston, Pakenham, Sandringham and South Morang train lines.

There will also be disruptions on a number of regional lines, including the Geelong and Warrnambool lines which will close in mid-April to enable $4.4 million of track and signalling works.

Track and other infrastructure work will also affect tram services on routes 8, 12, 78 and 109 in April.

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