Good evening everyone,
Welcome to the first of our weekly look-ahead emails during the 24/7 works.
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While the progress outside on site has been good, we appreciate that the local impact has been significant, from the evening works through to the traffic changes in the precinct.
A huge thanks to everyone in the precinct for bearing with us while we embark on this enormous undertaking.
The good news is that works are progressing well and we are well and truly where we want to be with the program of works.
Below is a quick update on where we are in the North/South/Middle of the site.
The northern section has seen the bulk of the workforce over the first week of the occupation, this is due to the complexity of the Park Street intersection. You might have seen some of the cranes on site that have been lifting heavy sections of track into site, along with the heavy diamond crossover sections that have now been installed
In this area, we are well and truly underway with the track installation, in fact this weekend we’ll start concreting the tracks into place. Laying tracks generally involves placing the tracks before they are concreted into place, after this there is often an application of crushed rock, before the tracks are asphalted to create the finished surface. This concreting/asphalting combo will start to make its way from north to south.
One of the challenges we’ll face over the weekend is the heat. With the temperature set to rise above 30 degrees, there is a risk that the tracks will bend in the heat. As a result, we cant pour concrete until the temperature dips, this means we’ll likely be pouring the late afternoon and into the evening.
Yarra Tram Pole installation is also happening at key points around the track installation – and by the end of next week we’d expect to see Yarra Trams hanging wires in key sections.
With the bulk of the activity happening in the north, the south hasn’t had as much attention, but that will all change this weekend into next week. The teams out on site have today started the backfill at the southernmost end of site as they also finalise some of the conduit and drainage pit connections.
Once the backfill is in place, we’re looking to start laying track on Saturday. All going well, we’ll be concreting on Monday, followed by the crushed rock and asphalt. Unlike the north, the south features straight sections of track, which are significantly simpler (and faster) to lay – especially when compared to the intricate curves featuring specific cant requirements in the north.
Through the middle of the site, roadworks will kick off next week on the new alignment for the northbound lane of St Kilda Road (the northbound lane will push further into the middle of site, starting just around Bowen Crescent, running adjacent to the new tram alignment and before re-joining its existing alignment just at Park Street. Today works started on the sub base, drainage and services underneath the road, with road construction ramping next week, as part of the backfilling works there will be use of the vibratory roller, which can be disruptive at times, depending on its location.
Right in the middle of site the works continue on the central platform – the bulk of the paving is complete with section to the east of the kiosk the final section of bulk paving to be completed, the more ‘fiddly’ sections of pavers will then be progressively laid to fill out the platform. Next week, infrastructure such as the tram shelter will be installed, followed by on-platform furniture and other platform infrastructure
At the end of these works the new tram platform will be open for public use – but we’ll still be down on the concourse level of Anzac Station. To separate tram users from these works, we’ll be installing wooden hoarding around the elevators and escalators down to concourse level. This wooden hoarding should start to be installed around the middle of next week.
Once again, we thank everyone for their patience during these works. I’ve attached today a picture of the site on Monday morning following the first night of works, followed by a photo from 730pm this evening showing the extent of track that has been laid. The jackhammering and demolition works were incredibly loud – and while the current works are a step down in decibel levels we do appreciate the impact these works are having on everyone’s day-to-day lives, the good news is that the works are progressing well and we hope to be out of everyone’s evenings (and road space) as soon as we possibly can.
Thanks, Rob and Christian