Work starts on landmark Spencer Street Station redevelopment
Work on Australia’s biggest railway station development – the $700 million redevelopment of the Spencer Street Station precinct – officially started today.
Launching the start of works with Transport Minister Peter Batchelor, Premier Steve Bracks said the landmark project would turn a rundown station into a vibrant new transport, business, retail and residential precinct.
“Southern Cross Station will be one of the world’s truly great stations,” Mr Bracks said. “Since the arrival of rail in the colonial era, Melbourne has been on a promise to have a major landmark station built on this site – today’s work marks the start of fulfilling that promise.”
Construction will include a retail plaza and three office and residential apartments, as part of a massive commercial redevelopment of the precinct.
Mr Bracks broke the ground at the site with a jackhammer, watched by Olympic champion and Ballarat resident, Steve Moneghetti, the project’s regional ambassador.
Mr Moneghetti said regional communities should recognise the importance of the Spencer Street redevelopment.
“I am looking forward to arriving with a sense of occasion in a grand railway hall rather than the rundown and outdated facility that exists today,” he said.
“I use the train from Ballarat to Melbourne regularly – and I will be encouraging others to use what will be a vastly improved rail system.”
Mr Bracks said the vast light-filled hall that would span the rail tracks would link the CBD with the emerging Docklands waterfront development.
“Southern Cross Station is a key component of our strategy to breathe new life into the western edge of the city and deliver world-class transport services for Victorians.
“This new facility is the centrepiece of the Government’s vision for a modern, integrated transport system, including faster and better rail links to country Victoria.
“It will provide a seamless interchange between the suburban network and the country trains, as well as integrating bus, tram and taxis services.”
Leighton Constructors will build the new $350 million station for the Civic Nexus consortium, with the state to pay Civic Nexus $300 million (Net Present Value).
Civic Nexus is led by financier’s ABN AMRO and the redevelopment has been designed by world-renowned Australian architect Daryl Jackson and UK-based architect Nicholas Grimshaw.
Transport Minister Peter Batchelor said the new Southern Cross Station and related development would create 4,000 jobs during its three-year construction and cater for a threefold increase in passenger numbers.
“On average, the Spencer Street Station presently handles 55,000 commuters per day or 15 million passengers a year,” Mr Batchelor said.
“The new station is designed to meet future growth of rail services and the travel needs of 45 million passengers a year.
“As part of that growth, the new station will service the Fast Rail Links to regional Victoria, creating greater commercial and tourism opportunities around the State.
“When complete, the stylish and functional design will deliver a grand station hall that will offer passengers comfort, convenience and safety.”
The redevelopment is a key component of the Linking Victoria $3.5 billion policy to revitalise transport infrastructure in Victoria in partnership with the private sector.
Features of the station include:
An open design with vast, light-filled spaces, and all glass street frontage on to the Collins Street extension and Spencer Street;
A 30-bay bus station accommodating terminating and transiting coaches and buses, and providing ticketing facilities and waiting areas for passengers;
An innovative ‘wave roof’ design spanning across all platforms;
Links to Docklands via the Collins and Bourke Street alignments, with direct access to these bridges from all platforms;
In addition to the Bourke Street pedestrian bridge, a new footbridge will link Lonsdale Street with Colonial Stadium and connect with a retail plaza;
Fully sheltered, high-quality waiting areas, equipped with comfortable seating, lighting, heating and air-conditioning and providing access to toilets, telephones, passenger information displays, catering facilities and other retail outlets.Bob Merkenhof, Managing Director of Leighton Contractors, also joined the Premier and the Minister.
He said he was confident his company could successfully deliver the project within the timelines and without disrupting rail services. The station is due to be completed by 2005.
“Leighton Contractors has an excellent track record of successfully completing major infrastructure projects around Australia,” said Mr Merkenhof.
“Southern Cross Station is a unique project but Leighton’s 50-year history and the company’s recent construction work on Brisbane’s Inner City Bypass and Sydney’s Olympic Park rail loop and station have prepared us for the job.”