Project Overview

We’re constructing a new 700m long sewer line under Elizabeth Street from Lonsdale Street to Victoria Street.

This work is stage three of a four stage strategy to increase the capacity of the sewer network in Melbourne’s CBD so we can continue to deliver a safe and reliable sewerage service.

Rob Carr Pty Ltd and their design partner SMEC have been appointed to deliver this project on behalf of Greater Western Water.

When will construction take place?

Construction started in February 2023 and is now expected to be complete in late July 2024. See project map below for timelines specific to each of our worksites.

Delays on the project have been caused by unexpected underground conditions. Working in the Melbourne CBD can be challenging, with underground assets and utilities from over 150 years of construction and changing technology.

We have been working to better plan for these complexities, to help reduce delays for the remainder of the works.

We know that Melbourne’s CBD is a complex construction environment, and we are working closely with key stakeholders and other authorities to minimise impacts as much as possible.

Find more information about other projects near the Elizabeth Street sewer upgrade:

You can also find more information about any disruptions to public transport in the Melbourne CBD on the PTV website.

We’ll make every effort to minimise impacts during construction. You can expect:

  • Most works will be carried out during the day
  • Some activities must be completed at night
  • There will be no impact on water or sewerage services
  • Some activities may generate periods of noise
  • Dates for the establishment of each site will be confirmed in advance of works starting

Traffic impacts

Footpaths and pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times. Temporary traffic changes during construction will include:

  • Sections of the northbound lanes on Elizabeth Street will be closed between Lonsdale and Victoria streets, including on-street parking
  • Lonsdale Street will be reduced to one westbound lane for about six months. This will not impact bus services on Lonsdale Street
  • The intersection of Little Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets will be closed for about two weeks around September 2023
  • There will be temporary loading bays for delivery vehicles, bin collection, and emergency services in some locations, accessible via U-Turn. Traffic controllers will be on site to assist vehicles.

We will share notifications throughout the project and update this website regularly with construction information.

Project map

Click on the pins below to find more information about construction at each work site, including updated project timelines.

Key project updates

We will be regularly updating this page throughout the project. Check back here for the latest information on our works.

We will be returning to our worksites on Elizabeth Street to complete final connection works. This includes our sites at:

  • La Trobe Street
  • A'Beckett Street
  • Franklin Street
  • Therry Street

This work will start in late June 2024, and all sites are expected to be complete by early August 2024.

Night works on Victoria Street

We'll also be completing night works on Victoria Street near Leicester Street from early July 2024, expected to be complete by early August 2024.

This work will be complete at night between 9pm and 5am, with normal traffic conditions operating during the day.

For more information see works notification dated 24 June 2024.

Construction started in February 2023 and was expected to be completed by March 2024. During our works, we encountered unexpected ground conditions which proved to be more difficult than previously anticipated.

Construction is now expected to be complete in July 2024.

What are we doing and when?

  • Early April: A shaft will be installed on Elizabeth Street within the La Trobe Street intersection. More information about this work is below.
  • Mid-May to mid-June: Tunnelling will be undertaken along Elizabeth Street between Latrobe Street and Little Lonsdale Street.
  • Late June: The work sites on Elizabeth Street near A’Beckett Street, Franklin Street and Therry Street will be reestablished and construction will restart in stages.
  • Early July: Construction on Victoria Street near the Elizabeth Street intersection at night.
  • Late July: Construction at all remaining work sites is expected to be complete. Elizabeth Street, Victoria Street and Leicester Street will be completely reopened.

We will provide further updates before construction restarts at each work site. For more details on timelines at each site, see our project map.

Works on Elizabeth Street at La Trobe Street

We will be installing a shaft within the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Latrobe Street in early April 2024. This work is expected to be complete in early July 2024.

Works at this site will only take place at night between 12am and 5am Sunday to Thursday.

Works will take place between 12am and 5am Sunday to Thursday. During this time, westbound vehicles on La Trobe Street will be unable to proceed straight through the intersection, and will be required to detour south onto Elizabeth Street.

At all other times, temporary fencing and barriers will be removed and the shaft will be covered by a steel road plate to ensure La Trobe Street is safe for use.

More information

Find more details in our works notification dated 25 March 2024.

All work sites along Elizabeth Street have been temporarily shut down over the holiday period to allow the road to reopen. Steel road plates have been installed over the shafts to ensure the road is safe for use.

Elizabeth Street at La Trobe Street

Starting from Thursday 11 January 2024, we will reestablish part of our work site on Elizabeth Street north of La Trobe Street. Works at this location are expected to be complete at the end of March 2024.

From Tuesday 23 January 2024, night works will take place between 9pm and 5am Monday to Thursday in conjunction with the daytime works at tis site. These night works are expected to be complete by early February 2024

Intersection of Elizabeth and La Trobe streets

We will also be carrying out night works from Monday 15 January for around one week at the intersection of Elizabeth and La Trobe streets.

This will include some road sawing, which will produce moderate amounts of noise. This is expected to be complete in the first night of these works.

For more information see works notification dated 21 December 2023.

The micro tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will construct the new sewer will be delivered to the work site on Elizabeth Street near the corner of Lonsdale Street on Wednesday 14 June.

What to expect during tunnelling

  • Tunnelling will be completed in sections, starting at Lonsdale Street and progressing north to Victoria Street between shafts at each work site
  • Each section will take about 2 weeks to complete
  • The TBM will generate only minimal noise and vibration, which are not expected to be noticeable at ground level
  • There will be low to medium levels of noise from support equipment at each shaft
  • Once tunnelling is complete, temporary concrete structures inside the shafts will be removed. This will involve periods of medium to loud noise for around 2 days per site. This work will only occur during the day

Tunnel connecting Lonsdale Street to Elizabeth Street

The section of the sewer between the Lonsdale Street work site and Elizabeth Street near the corner of Lonsdale Street will be constructed using hand-held equipment. This work will take place during the day from late June and is expected to take about a month to complete.

Speak to the project team

In June, we will hold an online community meeting to give an update on the project and answer your questions. This meeting is open to all members of the Elizabeth Street community.

Date: Tuesday 20 June 2023

Time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Location: online via Microsoft Teams

How to RSVP: please email your name and connection to Elizabeth Street to by COB Friday 16 June 2023 and the project team will email you the link to join the session. You are welcome to email your questions in advance, or to ask them during the meeting.

See information pack shared at this meeting.

More information

Find out more by reading the project notification dated 6 June 2023.

Start of works: February 2023

Works will begin on Elizabeth Street, between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets, on Monday 20 February.

The first stages of works will include site establishment and excavation of temporary shafts, including some night works.

See works notification dated 8 February 2023 for more information.

Sign up for project updates

Stay up to date on this project by signing up for email updates using the form below.

We’ll share information about changes to project timelines, construction updates and community meetings.