Melbourne is set to see major construction begin soon, as works to build a Metro Tunnel station entrance on the corner of one of an iconic Melbourne intersection gets underway.

Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, announced that work to build an entrance at Federation Square for the new underground Town Hall Station will commence shortly, with relevant approvals in place.

Flinders Street, next to Federation Square, will be reduced by one traffic lane westbound between Russell and Swanston streets for up to four years from later this year. The lane closure is necessary to allow the station entrance to be safely constructed.

Federation Square sits over a working railway and the deck cannot withstand the weight of the massive machinery needed to build the station. Closing one lane will allow crews to operate heavy equipment while traffic continues to flow.

Site establishment works are expected to get underway on the north-west corner of Federation Square shortly.

Geotechnical investigations will also be undertaken and ramps providing disability access around the site will be built. During this time there will be some temporary traffic changes to Flinders Street. Works to demolish the former Melbourne Visitor Centre to make way for the station entrance will follow.

From next year, following the completion of piling works, an acoustic shed will be built over the site to reduce noise, dust and light from 24/7 excavation and tunnelling. Cross Yarra Partnership has lodged a heritage permit application for works. All works at Federation Square will be undertaken with the relevant approvals.

Town Hall Station will make it easier for people to reach some of Melbourne’s key tourist destinations including Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Southbank, the Arts Centre and CBD shopping. The station will have a direct underground connection to Flinders Street Station, so passengers can connect seamlessly with City Loop services.

The $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project is the largest investment in public transport in Victoria’s history. It will free up space in the City Loop for an additional 504,000 peak passengers each week across the network.

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