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Yarra Valley Water has completed works on the Lockerbie Main Sewer Project, aiming to support growth in Melbourne’s north with the $80 million initiative. 

Yarra Valley Water’s General Manager Growth Futures, Chris Brace, said the new 9km pipeline between Donnybrook and Wallan would increase the sewer system’s capacity, reduce the risk of spills and protect Merri Creek.

“Our investment in this vital sewer infrastructure will also support more people moving into Melbourne’s north in the future – including the Donnybrook and Beveridge areas,” Mr Brace said.

The Victorian Planning Authority predicts that by 2050 the northern growth area will be home to about 300,000 people and 100,000 homes. 

Over the past seven years, Yarra Valley Water has invested more than $400 million in critical

infrastructure to service the fast-growing Northern Growth Corridor, including the $90 million Amaroo Main Sewer in 2016 and the $70 million Craigieburn Sewage Hub in 2019.

Mr Brace said the Lockerbie pipeline was built by delivery partners Ventia and Jaydo with delivery support partner Aurecon, adapting during coronavirus restrictions to ensure the project was delivered on time and on budget. 

Trenchless drilling technology was used to minimise disruption to sensitive cultural heritage and environmental sites.

“As part of the project design our teams worked with design partner Jacobs and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation to identify the potential impact our excavation may have on culturally sensitive areas,” Mr Brace said. 

“Our collaboration meant we avoided sensitive sites where possible and used cutting-edge construction techniques to minimise our impact on the land. The value of our partnerships on this project is far-reaching. It’s the first time that such a large-scale salvage of stony rises has occurred within Victoria.

“These artefacts will be analysed and the results documented to increase understanding of these significant areas before the artefacts are reburied in collaboration with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung.”

Mr Brace also thanked customers and the community for their patience during construction which started in early 2020.

Over the coming months, work will continue to restore the construction area, with the new pipeline running along the Melbourne to Sydney rail line and connecting into the 8km Amaroo Main Sewer at Donnybrook, which was completed in 2017.

Mr Brace said the Lockerbie Main Sewer Project would leave a legacy for the Northern Growth Corridor along its pipe track, providing future opportunities for open space and recreational use along its length.

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