22 July 2022

Tunnelling to begin soon for Maribyrnong sewer project

Work on the MRM to North Western Sewer Connection Project has now begun. This two-year project involves Melbourne Water building a new sewer to connect the Maribyrnong River Main (MRM) in Avondale Heights to the North Western Sewer (NWS) in Maidstone. This work will future-proof our sewerage system while improving community connection along the Maribyrnong River.

The project team has been working from a site office on Williamson Road, Maidstone since March and there has been some great progress on the shaft construction in preparation for the tunnel boring. The project team has also been learning about the significance of the local area from the Wurundjeri people. The Maribyrnong River Trail is also set to close in the coming weeks.

Tunnel progress

Construction of the shaft that will take the tunnel boring machine (TBM) underground to tunnel for the new sewer connection is well underway. The TBM will tunnel around 800 metres towards the Maribyrnong River.

We expect the TBM to be delivered to site in the coming weeks and we’ll have some exciting opportunities for the community to take a look before it’s craned into the shaft.

Drone's eye view of the Maidstone site (June 2022)

Drone's eye view of the Maidstone site (June 2022)

Maribyrnong River Trail closure and detours

While we complete works on the north side of the river, the Maribyrnong River Trail will be temporarily closed between the Canning Street bridge and the M102 water pipe bridge for approximately eight months.

For public safety no access to the river along the northern river bank section of the trail will be available during this time. Clearly marked detours will be set up before the trail closes and will be in for the duration of the closure. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The project team is waiting for some final permit approvals to arrive in the new few weeks then the closure will begin. We will send out another news update once the closure occurs, so make sure you are following the project page to receive an email notification. Keep a close eye on your inbox so that we can give you plenty of warning.

The map below shows the closure and detours. For more detailed information read the community bulletin we sent to residents in May (PDF). If you have any questions, you can ask a member of the project team.

The Maribyrnong River Trail between the Canning Street bridge and M102 water pipe bridge will be closed. The detour will go via Canning Street, Lacey Street and connect back wit the trail at Barbara Crescent

The solid blue line on the map shows the detour that will be in place when the Maribyrnong River trail is temporarily closed.

Understanding and protecting cultural heritage

While the project team has been preparing for construction on the riverbank sites, they have also been learning about the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people's history and connection with the local area, especially in the Maribyrnong River valley. We heard some great history and stories and learned about what to do if tool artefacts are discovered during the works.

The MRM to North Western Sewer Connection project is located within the traditional country of Wurundjeri Willam clan of the Woi-Wurrung speaking people. As part of the project we will adhere to specific conditions set out in the Cultural Heritage Management Plan to ensure the cultural heritage of the area is protected.

If you’d like to learn more about the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Maribyrnong River valley we recommend downloading the publication, Wurundjeri Willam: The Original Inhabitants of Moonee Valley (via City of Moonee Valley website).

Image showing examples of typical axes and cutting tools found around Melbourne

Examples of typical axes and cutting tools found around Melbourne

Ask a question

If you would like more information about the project, our project team is online and here to help and can respond to your questions:

  • Alex Chesterfield – Project Engineer
  • Andrew Moorhouse – Senior Project Manager, Construction Stage
  • Liz Iser – Communications & Engagement Advisor

To ask a question, visit the Ask the project team page.

You can also contact the project team privately at any time on 1800 712 434 or [email protected]