Melbourne Water has awarded the contract for a major sewer upgrade project in Melbourne’s inner north to John Holland and Kellogg, Brown and Root Joint Venture. The first works are scheduled to begin on the week commencing 6 October 2014.

The Carlton Main Sewer transfers sewage from Carlton, Brunswick, and the southern areas of Coburg to the Western Treatment Plant at Werribee.

The project will see 1.35km of the century-old Carlton Main Sewer renewed, and a new 510m connection built to relieve pressure on the ageing infrastructure and increase sewer capacity for future growth.

Melbourne Water project manager, Jenny Carbery, said the project was a vital part of ensuring service security for a popular part of Melbourne.

“This work is vital because the original brick sewer is more than a century old and may collapse or become blocked if not upgraded soon. The project will also increase the capacity of the sewer so it can cater for future population growth.”

The first stage of the project will see the closure of Scotchmer Street (at the corner of Rae Street) in Carlton North for around 20 months.

Tunnelling will commence from this location mid next year and head along Scotchmer Street and Pigdon Street towards Amess Street.

Ms Carbery said it was essential to renew the old brick sewer because the 110-year-old infrastructure could collapse or become blocked.

“The Carlton Main Sewer Project presents some difficult engineering challenges. We have to drill 25m down through basalt rock before we can start any tunnelling, and all works have to be conducted in a highly urbanised area.”

“We will be using specialised techniques and equipment to minimise impacts on the local residents as much as possible.”

“We understand that Scotchmer Street is a popular thoroughfare for the community, and we’re very grateful for their understanding and patience while we complete these essential public health works.”

The project is part of Melbourne Water’s strategy to maintain and upgrade infrastructure. The Carlton main sewer project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2016.

More information on the Carlton Main Sewer Project

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