The Metro Tunnel Project is the critical enabler of a metro-style rail system, set to resolve decreasing access to jobs and services, a poorly-performing and congested transport system, and declining productivity growth.
The Metro Tunnel Project (MTP) is the critical-enabler of a metro-style rail system in Melbourne, set to resolve decreasing access to jobs and services, a poorly performing and congested transport system, and declining productivity growth. This pivotal, city-shaping transport and land-use initiative will be Victoria’s largest rail investment, with an estimated value of more than $11 billion.
The rail tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra, and associated network improvement works, will dramatically increase passenger capacity to central Melbourne, improving accessibility to Melbourne’s knowledge economy and facilitating inner-urban renewal through a major mixed-use development precinct in north Melbourne.
The scale and complexity of the project poses significant challenges for the government:
Creating a resounding strategic case for the project to justify the significant expense, and the disruption and impact during construction
Developing confidence at various levels of government to proceed at various stages during the project’s development phase since 2010
Ensuring adequate disruption mitigation is planned for those who will be affected by the construction, including sensitive facilities such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Shrine of Remembrance war memorial
Addressing risks associated with building a major tunnel through the centre of Melbourne in variable ground conditions
Keeping Melbourne and Victoria’s existing transport network operational with minimal disruption
Ensuring the necessary planning and environmental approvals are in place for a project that will affect areas of local, state, national and international heritage and environmental significance
Ensuring market capability and capacity for delivery of the works given the scale of the project.
Advisian has been advising on MTP since its conception in 2010. We combined our strategic, technical, commercial and delivery nous to work closely with the initial project team and its technical advisors to prepare the comprehensive options assessment and initial business case.
The blending of Advisian’s strategic transport, business case, risk, technical rail, constructability and commercial skills proved crucial to the simplification of a complex and interdependent options assessment and the robustness of the first business case.
Our consultants led the original decision-based options framework that separated the alignment and station location decisions in each segment. This approach significantly resolved the complexity, analytical effort and interdependence of options and contributed to the robustness of the preferred option.
Since 2015, Advisian has been operating as the independent constructability advisor, embedded within MMRA. We also prepared a detailed risk-adjusted construction programs for each component of the project, a critical input to the overall delivery strategy.
Advisian placed experienced advisors and small teams of drafters and construction engineers on different packages of the project, and also managed the transport and traffic interface, and acted as the deputy director for the Shadow Operator function.
Together with our peer reviewers, the Advisian team regularly came together to harness varying perspectives and challenge thinking.
The team also participated in numerous workshops with the MMRA team and its advisors to deepen understanding and ensure the implications of the design and options were well understood. A relentless focus on strengthening relationships with MMRA staff and advisors across packages and disciplines was a key feature of Advisian’s approach.