Geotechnical drilling is underway for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, as preliminary planning works ramp up.
Soil testing and geotechnical investigations are being used to establish ground connections and soil quality, which involves drilling bore holes up to 25 centimetres in diameter and 45 metres deep to collect soil and rock samples.
Rail Projects Victoria, which oversees the delivery of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL), is assessing ground conditions across several locations to enable detailed planning.
Six sites around the M80 Ring Road in Tullamarine and the Maribyrnong River will be tested to guide further planning of the Sunshine route, with each investigation taking around two weeks to complete.
The works will inform the design of the new rail line and how it will be built, with a further phase of testing to be built later in 2019.
- Geelong’s high-speed rail on the fast track
- Australian super funds consortium announces $15b Melbourne Airport ‘Super Train’
- Melbourne Airport rail construction set for 2022
The investigations are part of the full Business Case process to assess design options for the rail link.
Construction of the MARL is expected to start in 2022, subject to required approvals, with construction expected to take up to nine years.
The total cost of the project will be determined in the Business Case and is estimated to be within the range of $8-$13 billion.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the state government has made sure the MARL will benefit all Victorians and is delivering a new super-hub at Sunshine to pave the way for fast rail to the regions.
“It will deliver wider benefits beyond simply moving tourists and business people between the CBD and the airport. It will help us transform the way people live, work and travel right across Victoria,” she said.