Image for Massive prefab supply to Keller and Intrafor for Melbourne Metro

Liberty Reinforcing has scaled up to supply prefabricated cages for Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project.

Liberty Reinforcing has begun supply for the biggest prefabrication project the company has ever taken in Australia.

Melbourne’s $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project includes the construction of two 9km tunnels under the city and five new underground stations to allow more trains to run to and from the suburbs. Cross Yarra Partnership, a consortium comprising Lendlease, John Holland and Bouygues Construction will design and construct the tunnels and stations.

Liberty Reinforcing’s supply package with piling contractor Keller and foundation work specialist Intrafor (together, the KIJV) is for approximately 22,500 tonnes. That figure comprises 16,000 tonnes of piling cages for the Parkville, State Library and Town Hall stations, and 6500 tonnes of diaphragm wall cages for the North Melbourne and Anzac stations.

According to Liberty Reinforcing’s Micah Biggs, meeting the requirement for pile cages and diaphragm wall cages for this package of work has required the company to dramatically increase its output and find efficiencies where possible. 

“This project at its peak will require approximately 150 tonnes of fabricated cages a day,” Micah says. “Overlay that on top of the 50 tonnes a day we usually do and you are looking at a fourfold increase in output.”

He says a significant amount of time has been invested in establishing the design and methodology used in order to scale up to meet KIJV’s requirements.

Footage of the indicative route of the Metro Tunnel (Courtesy Metro Tunnel)

“We currently have one dedicated site in Melbourne that deals with fabricated product – we’ve increased that now to three sites,” Micah says. “The original site we have is about 6500sqm under roof and with the other two coming online we’ll have about 26,000sqm in total.”

One of those new sites is located in Melbourne’s west and has the advantage of offering significant outdoor space for storage of up to 750 tonnes of completed cages. 

Neil Gibson, Liberty Steel Executive General Manager, Manufacturing, said he’s excited that the first stage of prefabrication work is underway. “Our team has worked very hard to win this work and the transformation has begun with the establishment of the two new sites to accommodate the project,” he said.

Liberty Steel's main package of work is due to finish in 12 months.

Image courtesy Metro Tunnel