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Sewer upgrade to prepare Melbourne CBD for population growth

A new sewer is in the pipeline for one of Melbourne’s busiest shopping strips, with a $21 million upgrade to help future-proof the city’s wastewater services.

The project will see a 900 m pipeline constructed along Lonsdale Street in the CBD, between Elizabeth and William Streets. It will connect to the Spencer Street sewer duplication, which was completed in December last year.

City West Water General Manager Infrastructure and Delivery Maree Lang said the project would help the utility cater for an expected 123,000 more people living in the city by 2036. 

“An increase in the capacity of the CBD’s current sewer network is necessary to deliver efficient, safe and environmentally responsible wastewater services into the future,” Lang said.

The project will be undertaken in stages in order to lessen the impact on traffic and pedestrians, but Lang said some lane closures and parking restrictions would be unavoidable.

“There’s no doubt Lonsdale Street presents us with some logistical challenges given its location and daily use by many city residents, businesses and visitors, but we’ve been planning for many months to minimise disruptions throughout the works period,” she said.

The utility has been working with Melbourne City Council, Victoria Police, the Metro Tunnel Project, transport operators and the Magistrates Court, which is on the corner of Lonsdale and William Streets, to ensure things go smoothly.

Contractors will begin early works in the next few weeks, including confirming existing service locations and ground conditions to help finalise the design of the project.

The project will be delivered by Rob Carr, with construction to begin in September. It will be complete by the end of 2020.