Acoustic deck to absorb vibrations at Metro Tunnel site in Parkville

The builders of Melbourne’s giant Metro Tunnel rail project under the CBD say sensitive medical equipment in Parkville’s research precinct is safe from vibrations during tunnelling works.

The state government on Monday announced a consortium of John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM had won the $1 billion contract to build entrances at either end of the rail tunnel.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the Metro Tunnel project would see dozens of high-capacity trains passing through the new route’s entrances each hour, once the project was complete, before they descended into twin nine-kilometre-long tunnels under the CBD.

There had been concerns that construction works and the subsequent running of trains would create vibration issues for highly sensitive research equipment in the medical precinct around Parkville.

Ms Allan said the precinct, where a new station is under construction, would be protected by an “acoustic deck” to soak up noise and vibrations from the building work.

“That means that the noise and the dust will be blocked below the ground,” she said.

Ms Allan said the new Parkville station would connect the health precinct and Melbourne University to the metropolitan rail network for the first time.

The $1 billion works package, to build tunnel entrances in both South Yarra and Kensington, is the last major contract as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

New high-capacity signalling will also allow trains to pass through the new entrances every two to three minutes in each direction, which will allow improvements to services across the rail network.

More than 1000 people will work on construction of the new Parkville station.

Construction in Parkville has focused in recent weeks on creating underground support structures needed to safely excavate about 200,000 cubic metres of rock and soil below Grattan Street.

The underground rail route will give Melbourne’s three busiest lines a new pathway through the city, thereby freeing up space in the City Loop so more trains can run on other lines.

The additional capacity will create room for 504,000 more peak passengers each week.

Public spaces at the eastern end of the tunnel, near South Yarra railway station and including a siding reserve there, Lovers Walk and the Osborne Street Reserve, will be rejuvenated as part of the works confirmed on Monday.

Tunnel entrances are expected to commence construction later this year, with the completion of the project and its new railway stations by the end of 2025.

Source: SMH