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Staged lane reductions have begun on Lonsdale Street as part of the biggest upgrade to Melbourne CBD’s sewer network in more than 120 years. The lane reductions are required to install a 900m-long, 1.4m-wide new sewer pipeline between Spencer and Elizabeth Streets.

Working to a depth of 23m below street level, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) will be launched and retrieved across three work sites along the west end of Lonsdale Street, with the first site established between King and William Streets.

Sites at Elizabeth Street and Spencer Street intersections will follow in early 2020 and remain in place until late 2020.

General Manager Infrastructure and Delivery at City West Water, Maree Lang, said Lonsdale Street will remain open in both directions during construction, though road users can expect some disruptions as works are carried out over the next 12 months.

“To do this work safely, we need to reduce both eastbound and westbound lanes, as well as on-street parking around the sites,” Ms Lang said.

“As a busy bus corridor, we’ve also worked closely with road and transport operators to maintain normal timetables along Lonsdale Street, though commuters can expect short delays when passing through the works area.

“We’re doing all we can to minimise the impact of this necessary work, so all of our customers can move through the area safely and get on with their day.”

Local water and sewerage services won’t be affected, and access to businesses and residential apartments along Lonsdale Street will be maintained at all times.

Upon completion, these works will connect into the recently finished Spencer Street sewer upgrade, with both projects forming part of an $80 million capital improvement program to maintain service reliability for Melbourne’s fast-growing population.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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