Melbourne Airport's expansion program gathers momentum

Melbourne Airport yesterday rolled out another plank in their aggressive facility expansion by commencing a $100 million extension of Airport Drive. Ultimately connected to the M80 Ring Road and slated to open prior to Terminal 4's completion, the link is designed to reduce congestion and provide alternative means of accessing the airport. Melbourne Airport CEO Mr Chris Woodruff conveniently tied together the Airport Drive expansion and pending rail link with the following statement:

The new Airport Drive is also where the airport rail link will enter Melbourne Airport with room for the rail link in the centre of the extended four lane road. We are one of the only airports in the world with 30 million annual passengers, and no rail link, so we were delighted with the recent state government commitment to build a rail link from the CBD to Melbourne Airport.

Chris Woodruff, Melbourne Airport CEO
ITH west elevation. Image © Hassell Studio

Nearby work on the Integrated Ground Transport Hub has quickened with the arrival of subcontractor I & D Constructions' Jaso tower crane. The first of its kind in the Victorian market, the tower crane will accelerate works on the structure which will see an elevated roadway attached which will funnel arriving airport traffic into the structure, eliminating the current traffic snarls when arriving at Terminals 1-3.

Incidentally plans for Integrated Ground Transport Hub are available via Melbourne Airport's website and show amongst other materials Polycarbonate roofing as one of the external materials. Add an excess of precast panels plus solid colorbond panelling to ground level and we surely have ourselves a progressive design here... or the result of project managers usurping an architect's want?

Melbourne Airport's image via their website

As Melbourne Airport's image above demonstrates the initial phase of Terminal 4 is taking shape with its steel skeleton in place. Tiger terminal above left will be demolished in due course once the new terminal is capable of handling limited passenger flow, after which the newer Terminal 4 will continue southward until it reaches its intended size.

Terminal 4 will coincide with a revamp and expansion of Terminal 3, a video of which can be viewed here.

The end result. Image © Hassell Studio

According to Melbourne Airport a future expansion of what is now under construction will see the new Terminal 4 expand to 35,000 square meters and be capable of handling 20 million passengers annually.

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