Investigations have begun for Melbourne Airport Rail Link that will boost connectivity between Melbourne and the surrounding area.
The work will involve drilling boreholes up to 25cm in diameter and 45m deep across six sites around the M80 Ring Road in Tullamarine and near the Maribyrnong River to guide further planning of the preferred Sunshine route.
Each investigation takes around two weeks to complete.
The works will inform the design of the new rail line, with a further phase of testing to occur later this year.
Expert technical advisors started initial environmental investigations in late 2018, with ecological surveys to identify any protected flora and fauna.
The government has committed up to AUS$5bn (£2.77bn) to build the scheme, which will run from the Melbourne to Melbourne Airport via Sunshine and form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.
melbourne airport rail link
The total cost of the project will be determined in the full business case and is estimated in the range of AUS$8bn (£4.43bn) to AUS$13bn (£7.2bn).
Minister for Transport infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “Whether it’s the Airport Rail Link, the Metro Tunnel, removing level crossings or planning for the Suburban Rail Loop – we’re getting it done.”
“We’ve made sure the Airport Rail Link will benefit all Victorians – delivering a new super-hub at Sunshine and paving 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.”
Construction of Melbourne Airport Rail Link is scheduled to start in 2022, subject to required approvals. Construction is expected to take up to nine years.