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Melbourne Metro Tunnel construction viewing areas open as new shortlist of bidders announced

From this week passers-by on Swanston Street will be able to get a glimpse of the progress at the newly named Town Hall station construction site.

The Lord Mayor and Public Transport Minister unveiled the viewing platforms on Wednesday.

To coincide with the opening of the viewing areas on the footpath of Swanston Street, it was announced that demolition of the underground car park at City Square and attached to the Westin will accelerate over the coming days.

Jacinta Allan said that there will be some disruption to Flinders Lane as City Square is demolished and the works had been timed to minimise closures through the Christmas and January events period.

CPB Contractors, John Holland and AECOM Australia are up against Laing O'Rourke, Kellogg Brown & Root and WSP in the shortlist for the Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA) contract.

According to a Spring Street media release "the RIA will connect the Metro Tunnel to the rest of the network by upgrading and building new infrastructure including a new platform and turnback facility at West Footscray station, and track and signalling work between Tottenham and Oakleigh".

"The RIA will also build tunnel entrances where the Metro Tunnel joins the network in Kensington and South Yarra".

The contract has a value of approximately $1 billion.

Comment

If the coverage of individual site progress for the Level Crossing Removal programme is anything to go by, the Melbourne Metro project looks set to have a high degree of media and social media exposure as well.

In fact, we need to cast our gaze north of the Murray and look at what the Sydney Metro project is seeing in terms of coverage - both images and video - by the authority undertaking the project up there.

When the tunnels were being constructed in North West Sydney, an online map would plot the real-time position of the TBMs and there is consistent video footage from drones published on a regular basis.  

Here's hoping we get the same level of coverage once the TBMs are in the ground down here.

Lead image credit: @LordMayorMelb on twitter

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