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 March 2024.

We will be temporarily removing all work sites on Elizabeth Street from Friday 8 December 2023 and Leicester Street from Friday 22 December to reopen these roads over the holiday period. Works will restart from Monday 8 January 2024 in stages. See project map below for specific timelines at 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.

Construction will be carried out in stages across 8 work sites, moving from Lonsdale Street to Victoria Street. See the project map below for more information.

Construction at each site will include:

  • Installation of site fencing, temporary traffic management and signage to establish each site
  • Installation of temporary structures
  • Shaft excavation
  • Tunnelling to construct the new sewer
  • Maintenance hole construction
  • Reinstating the site to its original condition, including removal of fencing and equipment, and resurfacing the road.

  • We will be tunnelling between each work site using a micro tunnel boring machine (TBM) to excavate the ground and install pieces of pipe (this is known as pipe jacking). This will help us reduce the impact of our works on Elizabeth Street and the surrounding area.

    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.

    Project Updates

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

    Starting from Monday 22 January 2024, we will re-establish the work site on Elizabeth Street at Little Lonsdale Street. These works are expected to be complete by mid-March 2024.

    While works will be primarily during the day, some activities will need to be undertaken at night from Thursday 25 January to Tuesday 30 January 2024.

    What to expect during day works

    • Work will take place between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
    • Vehicles will be unable to travel north along Elizabeth Street between Lonsdale Street and La Trobe Street.

    What to expect during night works

    • Works will take place between 9pm and 5am, Monday to Thursday.
    • Works will take place in the intersection of Little Lonsdale and Elizabeth Street.
    • The intersection will be closed during working hours, and will reopen during the day.
    • During the night works, vehicles will be unable to travel east on Little Lonsdale Street at the Elizabeth Street intersection. A detour will be in place for eastbound traffic and traffic controllers will facilitate access for local traffic during this time.

    For more information see works notification dated 17 January 2024.

    Construction on Elizabeth Street at Franklin Street and Therry Street is required for one week in January 2024. Construction will be carried out:

    • Starting Thursday 11 January 2024 at Franklin Street
    • Starting Monday 15 January 2024 at Therry Street

    Construction at these locations will then temporarily shut down again until late February 2024, and is expected to be complete by mid-March 2024.

    For more information see works notification dated 11 January 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 works on Leicester Street which started in October 2023 will now continue in 2024.

    Works will temporarily stop for the holiday period from Friday 22 December 2023 and then start again on Monday 8 January 2024. This work is now expected to be complete in early February 2024.

    What to expect during the holiday period

    During the holiday period from 23 December to 7 January part of the work compound on Leicester Street will remain. This will be used as storage for equipment and machinery.

    All centre median parking spaces will be reopened, however vehicles will still not be able to turn left from Victoria Street into Leicester Street.

    For more information see works notification dated 21 December 2023.

    Construction at Lonsdale Street near Elizabeth Street is expected to be complete in late November 2023.

    Starting from Monday 27 November 2023, road reinstatement work will take place within the site compound located at Lonsdale Street on the west side of the intersection with Elizabeth Street. This work will take place at night for four nights and will include excavation, road sawing and asphalting works.

    Once this work is complete, this work site will be returned to its original condition. All fencing, barriers and traffic management signage will be removed.

    For more information see works notification dated 25 November 2023.

    Construction at the Elizabeth Street work site near Lonsdale Street is expected to be complete by late November 2023.

    From Thursday 16 November 2023, road reinstatement work will take place in the existing site compound. This work will take place at night for four nights and will include excavation, road sawing and asphalting works.

    Once this work is complete, this work site will be returned to its original condition. All fencing, barriers and traffic management signage will be removed.

    What to expect during this work

    • Work will take place between 12.30am and 4.30am Monday to Thursday and is expected to be complete by Thursday 23 November 2023.
    • Road sawing works will take place during the day. However, some road sawing may happen during the night, if required.
    • There will be periods of moderate noise from use of road saws and excavators.

    See works notification date 9 November 2023 for more information.


    On Monday 9 October we will start work on the northbound side of Leicester Street. Construction will take place in the median parking lane, the northbound traffic lane and on-street parking spaces.

    What to expect during the work

    • Working hours will be between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 1pm Saturdays.
    • A section of the northbound lane on Leicester Street will be closed near Victoria Street.
    • Around 14 on-street and centre median parking spaces will be closed, and some parking conditions may be changed to provide temporary loading, car share and disability parking spaces.
    • Access to private driveways on Leicester Street will be maintained at all times.

    For more information see works notification dated 28 September 2023.

    From Wednesday 30 August 2023 the westbound lane of La Trobe Street at the intersection of Elizabeth Street will be closed at night while we continue to build the new sewer main. The intersection will be reopened each day outside of working hours.

    Update: Works will now take place up until Thursday 30 November 2023.

    What to expect during the works

    • working hours will be from Monday to Thursday between 12am (midnight) and 4.30am
    • works will now take place up until Tuesday 31 October 2023
    • a detour will be in place for westbound traffic on Latrobe Street during working hours
    • there will be periods of moderate noise during construction

    Why do we need to do these works at night?

    We make every effort to complete works during the day wherever possible, however some activities must be completed at night.

    These activities need to happen when the trams are not running. Carrying out this work at night will also help us minimise our impact on traffic and road users.

    For more information see works notification dated 24 August 2023, update notification dated 15 September 2023 and update notification dated 23 October 2023.

    Work is continuing on Lonsdale Street and on Elizabeth Street between Lonsdale and A’Beckett streets.

    From Monday 17 July, we will start work at two new sites:

    • Elizabeth Street near Franklin Street (see map above)
    • Elizabeth Street near Therry Street (see map above)

    The first stages of work at these sites will involve site establishment and excavation, including some night works at Therry street.

    Traffic impacts

    • The northbound lanes on Elizabeth Street will be closed between Lonsdale and Therry streets
    • Local access will be maintained between A’Beckett Street and the Franklin Street worksite, and Franklin Street and the Therry Street worksite for deliveries, waste collection and emergency services. Traffic controllers will be on site to assist vehicles
    • Footpaths and access to businesses will be maintained at all times.

    See the works notification dated 3 July 2023 for more information.

    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 ElizabethStreet@smec.com 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.


    Work is now underway at sites between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets. These sites have been combined to improve pedestrian and tram safety.

    We will be starting work at two new sites:

    • Lonsdale Street, on the west side of the intersection with Elizabeth Street
    • Elizabeth Street between La Trobe Street and A’Beckett Street

    The first stages of work at these sites will involve site establishment and excavation, including some night works. This will be followed by tunnelling. More information will be provided before it starts.

    See works notification dated 19 April and change of works date notification dated 10 May 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.

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