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DRILLING in the Yarra is set to shake up Melbourne’s relaxed summer vibe as it begins to make way for the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail Project.
A temporary drilling barge has been stationed under the Princes Bridge which will drill 12 holes, 35 metres deep into the river bed over the next six weeks.
Onlookers on Princes Bridge peer down upon the drilling barge. Picture: Alex CoppelThe key work will gather information for the twin tunnels which will be built below the Yarra.
Acting Premier James Merlino said it was a vital step in the long awaited project.
“We are not wasting a single day in this project,” he said.
“A barge is there drilling bore holes; this work will continue over the next six weeks. This is vital work which will inform the design for the twin tunnels.”
Major construction is on track to begin in 2018.
The drilling project will take six weeks. Picture: Alex CoppelMetro Rail Project CEO Evan Tattersalls said 200 boreholes up to 50 metres deep would be carried out later but current drilling was to discover basalt under the river.
“We need to understand where exactly it flows to but it is good solid material,” he said.
The tunnel will run 11 metres under water and seven metres under the ground.
Discussions with the Federal Government for funding of the rail project is ongoing and Mr
Workers on the barge with the equipment used to bore into the river bed. Picture: Alex CoppelMerlino said a “significant contribution” was expected.
Acting Minister for Public Transport Luke Donnellan welcomed the start of drilling.
“The new tunnels under the Yarra River will carry high-frequency, high-capacity trains into the heart of the city and enable 20,000 extra passengers to catch the train in peak hour,” Mr Donnellan said.
“After four wasted years under the previous Liberal Government, who abandoned Melbourne Metro Rail, we’re getting on with the projects that Victorian’s need.”
The Labor Government has already committed $4.5 billion to Melbourne Metro Rail.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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