Federation Square continues to see rapid development as Victoria’s largest public transport project, the Metro Tunnel, forges ahead, while upgrades to protect the historic Flinders Street Station are also underway.

Part of Flinders Street will be reduced by one traffic lane for up to four years starting in October 2018, as the Metro Tunnel starts major construction to build a station entrance on the doorstep of Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square.

200m of temporary fencing has been installed around the site and two ramps providing disability access around the worksite are being built, after a permit exemption was granted by Heritage Victoria.

The former Melbourne Visitor Centre will be demolished later in 2018 and a massive acoustic shed will be built, allowing 24/7 excavation and station construction  in 2019 after receiving relevant approvals.

A state-wide competition to name Victoria’s six gigantic TBMs that will begin digging the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel early next year is underway.

More than 500 name suggestions have been received since the competition launched last week, with inspiring Victorians Susan Alberti, Rosie Batty, Kylie Minogue and Dame Nellie Melba proving popular.

The public is being asked to submit female names as tunnelling tradition dictates a TBM cannot start work until it has been named after a woman – a symbol of good luck for the project and its underground workers.

Across the road at the Metro Tunnel’s archaeology site on the corner of Swanston and Flinders street behind the Young and Jackson Hotel, public tours are underway. More than half a million artefacts, some dating back more than 180 years to early days of European settlement in Melbourne have been found.

At Flinders Street station, upgrades to the historic subways are underway to improve the passenger flow and experience at Victoria’s historic station. The works are delivering a heritage facelift, with cleaning and restoration of the historic tiles and replacement of some with coloured tiles made using traditional techniques.

The Subways will be finished at the end of 2018 and the main entrance hall behind the clocks is being repainted and refurbished with work scheduled to finish in late October 2018.

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