CitiPower is upgrading the electricity network in the Melbourne CBD as part of a major $250 million project involving Waratah Place.
When complete, the Waratah Place project and Melbourne CBD Security of Supply project will ensure that if unexpected events occur on major supply lines, such as extreme weather, fires, traffic accidents or infrastructure failures, then the network has a ‘double backup’ to provide continuous supply to homes and businesses in the CBD.
Little Bourke Street
Little Bourke Street will be closed to vehicles from the Chinese Monument at Russell Street through to Waratah Place, from Monday 12 August through to Saturday 26 October 2019
Access to Little Bourke Street Chinatown, will be via Heffernan Lane. If you’re looking to travel across the city towards the Docklands, take Lonsdale Street for an easier drive.
Waratah Place Laneway - Accessible Hours
The Waratah Place laneway is currently under construction, please consider your travel options and continue to enjoy the businesses and attractions of Chinatown.
Hours of operation
Monday to Saturday 4 pm to 6 am and all day Sunday.
What we have done so far
The Security of Supply project has so far seen upgrades to the Brunswick Terminal Station, Bouverie – Queen Zone Substation and Victoria Market Zone Substation, and the installation of 21km of new electricity cables travelling over 7km from the Brunswick Terminal Station to Carlton. The Waratah Place Zone Substation is the final part of the project to support enhanced capacity to Melbourne’s CBD and surrounds.
Every day, almost 1 million people and businesses, generating 25% of the state’s economic value, depend on the continuity of electricity supplies to the Melbourne CBD.
At the heart of the Security of Supply project is the rebuilt Waratah Place Zone Substation. The zone substation, once fully complete, will allow power to be diverted around the grid so the duration of a major power outage is limited to no more than 30 minutes.
Currently, the CBD’s power supply can withstand one major fault on the 66kv network. This project is designed to ensure the city can withstand two major outages, with minimal impact to customers.
While ensuring reliability, the Waratah Place Zone Substation has also been designed to help reinvigorate the heritage of the vibrant laneway culture around Chinatown.
The works in 2019 are going to be bigger, longer and have a larger footprint than the project has previously experienced and we appreciate your patience as we continue our work.
To connect the zone substation to the surrounding area, CitiPower will soon be digging a four-metre-deep trench in Waratah Place, replacing and connecting 10.5 kilometres of cables that wind throughout the city. This involves working with gas, water and sewerage utilities to relocate key assets.
The deep excavations close to heritage-listed buildings, as well as beneath Little Bourke Street’s Chinese monument, have required extensive engineering to minimise the risk to these structures which were built on shallow foundations.
We’re looking forward to the full reopening of Waratah Place laneway in 2020.