The Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East project, Suburban Connect - a joint venture between ACCIONA, CPB Contractors, and Ghella - has unveiled an innovative tunnelling approach which promises to dramatically reduce community disruption during construction.

This innovative approach not only showcases the technical expertise of ACCIONA and its partners, but also highlights our commitment to minimise the project's impact on local residents and businesses while maintaining progress on this city-shaping underground rail project.

Key Changes and Benefits:

Reduced Number of Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs)

The number of TBMs has been decreased from six to four, significantly lowering the project's footprint.

New Launch Site

TBMs will now be launched from the Alex Fraser Group Materials Recycling Facility and Transfer Station on Kingston Road, Clarinda. This move shifts major construction activities away from residential areas in Heatherton.

Ground Freezing Technique

An innovative 'ground freezing' method will be employed to construct most safety cross passages between the twin tunnels.  This technique allows work to be conducted from within the tunnels, rather than from the surface.

Dramatic Reduction in Surface Disruption

The new approach is expected to reduce traffic disruptions by 90 per cent, while almost 100 homes and businesses will be spared from significant construction impacts and around six months’ of direct impacts on over 20 local streets will be eliminated.

Environmental Considerations

The new plan also provides safeguards the South Eastern Trunk Sewer (SETS), a critical piece of infrastructure for the region.

By reducing the number of TBMs and employing cutting-edge techniques like ground freezing, the joint venture is set to deliver this crucial infrastructure project with minimal disruption to daily life in Melbourne's east and south-east.

As the project moves forward, residents can expect fewer road closures, reduced noise and dust, and a significantly smaller construction footprint.