As work on the new Mernda rail line nears completion, the team has reflected in some of the more innovative practices in place on the project since work began in April last year.
Some of these sustainability achievements include recycling more than 90 per cent of materials from site, a reduced carbon footprint and replanting more than 120,000 native trees and shrubs in and around the rail corridor.
The project team also came up with some innovative ways to re-use material and reduce the number of trucks on local roads during construction.
Eighty-thousand tonnes of basalt rock was excavated from underneath South Morang Station and McDonalds Road, all of which was crushed on site with a rock crushing machine. This meant that trucks could travel between the excavation site and the rock crusher via the new rail alignment, not public roads.
Some of the crushed rock was also re-used underneath the new rail line, as well as being re-used in gabion walls at the three new stations.
Additionally, in a Victorian first, the project funded a heritage dig at the site of the Old Bridge Inn in Plenty Gorge Park. This year’s public exhibition of artefacts at the City of Whittlesea Civic Centre was attended by hundreds of interested locals, including descendants of Mernda’s early European settlers.
Because of this innovation, the Mernda Rail project has been awarded an ‘Excellent’ Design Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.
The ISCA IS Tool measures sustainability performance of projects across key areas including management and governance, resource use, emissions, pollution, design, ecology and innovation.
The new Mernda line will open on Sunday 26 August.