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Greater Western Water’s renewal project hits next stage

Greater Western Water’s (GWW) contractor Jaydo Construction has commenced works on stage 2 of Melbourne’s Victoria Street Main Renewal project.

Scheduled to start in April, stage 2 involves replacing 1.8 km of water mains down Rathdowne Street and along the southern side of Victoria Street, between Exhibition Street and William Street.

Stage 1 started in August 2022 with the successful relining of 250m of water mains along Howard Street, North Melbourne as well as 1.7km of water mains along the north side of Victoria Street, between Howard Street and Nicholson Street.

Stage 2 involves around 1.8 km of pipes across North Melbourne, Carlton and the inner city being removed and replaced with a new, larger diameter pipe. This is to be installed via open trenching, with slip-lining under key intersections, Jaydo Construction is the contractor for this work.

GWW general manager for growth and infrastructure Amanda Smith said that final connection works are currently underway on the northern side of Victoria Street.

Greater Western Water’s renewal project hits next stage

GWW advised that ageing infrastructure is the main reason behind this work as the current water main is at least 140 years old.

“The upgrade will create more capacity in the system and help ensure the water supply remains clean and reliable for our customers across North Melbourne, Carlton and the inner city,” said Smith.

“It will also prevent water network faults, reducing disruptions and improving customer experience of our services into the future.”

As part of the project’s work routine, approximately 300 m of pipe were being slip-lined every second night.

The unique footprint of the site has required the GWW and its project team to be agile and adaptive to accommodate the many needs and sensitivities that arise in a built-up area.

Other challenges in completing these works have included site restrictions, authorising environment and the presence of existing essential services.

“Site access is restricted with businesses, pedestrians and residents in close proximity to the work zones. There are limited storage areas available adding to the logistical challenges with equipment on site,” explained Smith in regard to site restrictions.

When it comes to the authorising environment, authorities such as Melbourne City Council and VicRoads issue permits and approvals to operate in the area. These approvals include requirements to minimise disruption and consider community needs.

“To manage these challenges the project team engaged with the community early to understand key issues and sensitivities which helped inform planning for the project and subsequent approvals and conditions with stakeholders,” outlined Smith.

The area also has an abundance of existing services which require detailed planning and coordination with service owners to work safely around and avoid disruption.

These include stormwater, drainage, power, electrical services, gas services, existing water, sewer services, tram lines, overhead power cables and Cross Yarra Partnership’s groundwater recharge system.

The high-density residential population of the impacted areas is also one of the inherent challenges of this project, as over 6000 apartments are situated in the area with a high concentration at the intersections of Bouverie Street and Swanston Street and construction typically results in an unavoidable level of noise.

“Most people are understanding about the need for essential construction, and we have been proactive in managing noise expectations through printed notifications, door knocking, web updates and community pop ups,” said Smith.

“We’re grateful for the patience and support of the community who understand the need for this essential work to provide clean and safe drinking water now and into the future.”

The project is due for completion late 2023.

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