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.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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