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City West Water

Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade

The Lonsdale Street Sewer Upgrade is stage two of a four-stage strategy to install a secondary 900-metre-long sewer line under Lonsdale Street.

The current sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity; this new sewer line will cater for the forecasted growth in Melbourne’s CBD.

Constructed via an underground tunnel boring machine, the project will link with the Stage One Spencer Street Sewer Upgrade completed in December 2018.

Construction works are scheduled to begin in October 2019 and be completed by late-2020.

December Project Update

William St Launch Shaft

Construction of the Launch Shaft between King and William St commenced in October 2019. Excavation is currently at 15 metres to an eventual 23 metres.

This is the site where the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be launched in February 2020.

Image of the excavation site at 15 metres. The eventual depth will be 23 metres at this location.
IMAGE: Excavation of the site is at 15 metres. The eventual depth will be 23 metres at this location.

Elizabeth St Retrieval Shaft

Works will soon commence to construct a Retrieval Shaft, west of Elizabeth Street at Lonsdale Street (see map below).

Image of the Elizabeth St Retrieval Shaft Footprint
IMAGE: Elizabeth St Retrieval Shaft footprint.

From 8 January 2020, a work site will be established that will enable the retrieval of the TBM. This site will be in occupation until late May 2020.

What to expect:

  • Fenced off works site
  • Reduction of traffic lane to one westbound past the worksite. All eastbound lanes will remain open.
  • Temporary changes to on street parking
  • General construction noise between 7am -6pm weekdays, and 7am – 3pm Saturdays

Property access and footpaths will not be impacted.

Businesses will continue to operate as normal.

We have been working hard with key stakeholders such as Council, VicRoads and transport operators to minimise impacts as much as possible for the duration of these works. 

Please allow extra time when travelling through the area.

A tunnel boring machine will be used to construct the new sewer line along Lonsdale Street. There are three construction sites required for this project, where the tunnel boring machine will be launched and retrieved from:

  • a launch shaft work site on Lonsdale Street between King and William Streets
  • a retrieval shaft work site near the corner of Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets
  • a retrieval shaft work site at the intersection of Lonsdale and Spencer Streets.

Whilst Lonsdale Street will remain open to buses and other vehicles in both directions, to protect everyone’s safety, there will be lane reductions in both directions (see map above).

Pedestrian and access to properties will not be affected, however there will be temporary changes to on-street parking.

Construction activities with some low-level noise and vibration is expected between 7am and 6pm weekdays and 7am to 3pm Saturdays during the excavation of the launch and retrieval shafts. Water and sewerage services will be not be impacted by these works.

Project Timeline

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be any impact on my water supply?

  • No. Water and sewerage services will be not be impacted by these works and the project team is working with other service providers to ensure construction remains clear of all underground tunnels, wires, cables and pipes.

What construction impacts can I expect?

  • There will be lane reductions along Lonsdale Street in both directions, however will remain open to buses and other vehicles in both directions. Allow extra time when driving through the area.
  • Access to properties will not be affected but there will be temporary changes to on-street parking.
  • There will be construction-related noise during the excavation of launch and retrieval shafts.

Why does CWW need to do these works?

  • The current CBD sewer network is approximately 120 years old and is nearing full capacity. The Victoria in Future 2019 report estimates growth of approximately 123,000 additional people within inner Melbourne over the next 17 years.
  • To deliver a safe and reliable wastewater service to people living and working in Melbourne’s CBD, it is essential that we increase the capacity of the sewer network.
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