Big digs ploughing on

The state’s biggest ever archaeology digs are ploughing on as round-the-clock excavation continues.

State Library Station 

Archaeological digs are underway on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets with the first stage now complete.
This stage involved the removal of existing concrete slabs within the site and establishing test pits to determine the ground conditions and digging approach.

The digs have already discovered thousands of items, including highly decorative pottery, clay tobacco pipes and other items that reflect domestic life throughout the 19th century.

You can follow the progress of the state’s biggest ever archaeology digs on the Metro Tunnel’s social media channels.

At Franklin St, the excavation of the 11-storey access shaft is progressing on schedule, with the first internal support level now in place. Major 24/7 excavations are continuing at this site to build the massive shaft.

Further round-the-clock excavations inside the acoustic shed at A’Beckett St are also continuing throughout June.

Service relocations are now complete at Franklin St, between Swanston and Stewart streets. Vehicle access on Franklin St west has been reinstated, with the eastbound and westbound lanes on Franklin Street west reopened. This current traffic configuration on Franklin St is expected to be in place until mid-year.

Installation of groundwater monitoring stations along Victoria St, between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, and in Bouverie Street are making progress.

Town Hall Station 

Tunnels and Stations contractor, Cross Yarra Partnership, has begun moving into the City Square site and has started site investigations for the new Town Hall Station.

These activities include excavating test pits for upcoming piling works at the site. These test pits will help with confirming existing ground conditions and the location of underground assets.

Once the investigations are complete, piling works for the station are expected to start mid-year. These piles will create the perimeter structure of the station entrance. The final phase of the Port Phillip Arcade demolition is underway and is scheduled to be fully complete in late June. The demolition of the former McDonald’s building is complete. Demolition works to knockdown the former KFC building have begun and will continue throughout June.

Archaeological digs are also underway on the corner of Swanston and Flinders streets.

The area has undergone tremendous change since Melbourne’s founder John Batman paid £100 for part of the site in 1837 to build a timber cottage and it promises to reveal a treasure trove of early Melbourne life.

It is hoped the digs, being overseen by Heritage Victoria, will help tell the story of this transformation and improve our understanding of the everyday lives of the people who settled and developed the city.

Flinders Lane and Scott Alley businesses remain open and can be accessed using either Degraves St or Swanston St.

Thanks for your support

The Metro Tunnel appreciates your support while we undertake these vital works in the city and urge caution around our sites.

Please help us support local businesses affected by construction by continuing to visit them while works take place.

Visit for more information about works in your area.

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