Contractors have been selected for the construction of the twin tunnel entrances of the Metro Tunnel, which is part of what the Victorian Government is calling the state’s biggest ever public transport project.

Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, announced that a consortium, comprising John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM, have been selected as the preferred bidders to deliver the $1 billion Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA) works package.

The new Parkville Station will connect the health precinct and University of Melbourne to the metropolitan rail network for the first time.

More than 1,000 people will work on the construction of Parkville Station, with construction currently focused on creating the underground support structures needed to enable the safe excavation of around 200,000m3 of rock and soil below Grattan Street.

The $1 billion RIA works package, is the last major contract as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

The consortium will build the tunnel entrances in South Yarra and Kensington, which will each see thousands of passengers pass through every hour before their trains go underground and onto twin 9km tracks beneath Melbourne.

New high-capacity signalling will allow trains to pass through the new entrances every two to three minutes in each direction – a vital part of the Metro Tunnel, which will deliver major benefits for suburban passengers.

The project will also slash waiting times and overcrowding across Melbourne’s train network by giving Melbourne’s three busiest lines a new underground pathway through the city, thereby freeing up space in the City Loop for the benefit of other train lines.

This additional capacity will create room for an additional 504,000 peak passengers each week across the network. The RIA also includes works on train lines out in the suburbs to maximise the benefits of the Metro Tunnel and take full advantage of the extra capacity it creates.

Public spaces near the eastern tunnel portal, including South Yarra Siding Reserve, Lovers Walk and Osborne Street Reserve, will be rejuvenated as part of these works before being returned to the local community once tunnel entrance works are complete.

The RIA package is part of the $11 billion project, which is on budget and ahead of schedule. Site preparations ahead of portal construction will commence later this year, with most RIA works expected to be finished in line with the completion of the tunnels and stations, by the end of 2025.

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