Work on the Metro Tunnel is mostly at the major construction stage. Contractors have started building underground stations and tunnel boring. 

Managing noise and vibration

EPA has worked with Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) to avoid and lessen the risk of noise impacting the local community.

Our Noise control guidelines (publication 1254) (the guidelines) outline what we expect of RPV and their contractors during construction. Key aspects of the guidelines that apply to the Metro Tunnel are: 

  • People nearby shouldn’t be able to hear noise from the project:
    • in any habitable room of residential premises
    • from 10 pm to 7 am from Monday to Sunday.
This doesn’t apply if the works are unavoidable. The Environment Protection Act 1970 defines the meaning of a habitable room.  
  • When unavoidable works will affect people, RPV or their contractors should tell them:
    • when the noise will occur
    • how long it will go on for.

RPV should monitor noise and vibration through the construction of the Metro Tunnel. This is to make sure that they comply with the project's environmental performance requirements.

Our Environmental guidelines for major construction sites (publication 480) provide advice on how to minimise environmental impacts and eliminate nuisance for residents. 

What unavoidable works are

 The Metro Tunnel project may consider works that cannot be practicably and safely completed during normal business hours to be unavoidable. They include works that: 

  • involve continuous work, for example a concrete pour 
  • pose an unacceptable risk to life or property 
  • risk a major traffic hazard 
  • could cause a major disruption to the transport system. 

RPV or their contractors sometimes can’t avoid noisy works. They must show they have made all reasonable efforts to limit the impact of noise on the local community. 

Managing waste and soil from demolition and construction work 

RPV must manage waste soil in a way that complies with Victoria’s environmental laws. EPA provides RPV with guidance on how it should manage its waste. Our Soil hazard categorisation and management (IWRG621) provides information RPV can use to manage its waste soil in the right way. 

Read next 

Metro Tunnel Project 

Metro Tunnel Project: EPA’s role 

Reviewed 30 July 2020