The first package of works on the biggest public transport infrastructure project in the history of the Australian state of Victoria – Melbourne Metro Rail – will go to the market tomorrow and begin in just over a year, the state government announced today.
After four lost years under the Liberals, we haven’t got a moment to waste– Labor transport minister, Jacinta Allan
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, and Minister for Public Transport in the Labor Party state government, Jacinta Allan, used the announcement to blame the previous Liberal government for delaying the multi-billion project.
"Melbourne Metro Rail will unclog our train network, creating an international-style turn-up-and-go underground metro system," he said.
"This project has been spoken about for a decade, and was abandoned by the short-sighted previous government. We’re getting on with it."
"After four lost years under the Liberals, we haven’t got a moment to waste," said Jacinta Allan.
The package of work, worth "hundreds of millions of dollars" according to the government statement, will prepare key sites for the start of major construction in 2018.
Works will include moving and protecting underground services such as gas, sewer and water mains, stormwater pipes and telecommunications cables, and the relocation of trees and other road features to enable to the construction sites to be established.
The news follows the announcement last week that Melbourne Metro Rail – including two nine-kilometre tunnels and five new stations – will be built through a multi-billion dollar public private partnership.
The government wants to transform Melbourne’s rail network into an underground metro system that can carry 20,000 extra passengers in peak hour.
Details will be released tomorrow on the Victorian Government Tenders website: www.tenders.vic.gov.au.
Applications close on 23 December 2015.
Image: Map shows proposed route of underground sections (Melbourne Metro Rail)