Construction has started on Victoria’s Suburban Rail Loop (SRL), a project that aims to be a jobs juggernaut for the building industry.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Suburban Rail Loop Minister Jacinta Allan visited Clayton, in Melbourne’s south east, to mark the start of construction of SRL East between Cheltenham and Box Hill.
A remote-controlled micro-tunnelling machine will be used to lay a new 630-metre sewer pipe as part of a massive program of initial and early works which will create up to 800 local jobs.
The first phase of works for SRL East will also include road modifications, service relocation and preparation for three sites where the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be launched.
Up to 10 TBMS are expected to dig 26 kilometres of twin tunnels, linking the six new underground stations.
“Work has now started on the Suburban Rail Loop – an iconic project Victorians voted for, and one that will transform the way we move around the state,” Andrews said.
“SRL will create thousands of jobs and connect our suburbs – making it easier, faster and more convenient for all Victorians to access our fastest growing employment, health, education and retail centres.”
SRL East is the first of three stages of the 90km orbital loop that links every major rail line via the airport. A trip from Cheltenham to Box Hill will take just 22 minutes.
The new station at Clayton will connect regional Victorians to SRL and is expected to be one of the busiest interchange stations on the network.
SRL East will generate up to 8000 jobs during construction, with opportunities for local industry and suppliers.
The Clayton site has been established by Indigenous construction firm Wamarra – the first sub-contractor employed on this city-shaping project.
Over more than two million hours, workers have completed thousands of lab tests and surveys, and geotechnical investigations at more than 840 sites.
“We’re thrilled to see construction start – SRL East will connect people across the east and southeast to workplaces, education, health and retail centres, delivering a massive pipeline of new jobs – and we’re getting on with building it,” Allan said.