Starting Saturday July 6, major works on the Metro Tunnel project will cause extensive disruptions across Melbourne’s public transport grid.

A series of power, signalling and communication upgrades will take place across the city’s transport network, including the construction of a ramp that will carry trains from the Sunbury line into the Metro Tunnel. Level crossings on the Frankston and Mernda lines will also be removed.

Construction has been timed to coincide with the winter school holiday period to minimise impact, but delays are possible and the State Government is encouraging passengers to be prepared.

“I thank passengers for their patience while we deliver these vital works and encourage them to plan ahead and allow extra time to get where they’re going,” said Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne in a statement.

If your plans include getting to the footy via the Cranbourne, Pakenham or Frankston lines this weekend, you’re going to need to leave early.

Buses replace trains on the following lines:

• Cranbourne and Pakenham: between Flinders Street and Caulfied from July 6 to 12, and between Flinders Street and Westall on July 13 and 14.
• Frankston and Stony Point: between Flinders Steet and Caulfield from July 6 to 12, between Frankston and Stony Point from July 6 to 14, between Flinders Street and Moorabbin on July 13 and 14, and between Mordialloc and Franskton/Stony Point from July 19 to 28.
• Mernda: between Thornbury and Epping from July 19 to 21, and Thornbury and Mernda from July 6 to 28.
• Sandringham: between Flinders Street and Sandringham on July 6 and 7, and July 13 and 14.

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) expects that roads will be busier than usual during this time. Delays are expected on the Monash Freeway, Nepean Highway and Princes Highway.

PTV also warns that extra strain on the tram network throughout the construction blitz will cause longer travel times on weekends.

Additionally, between July 19 and 28 buses will replace trams on route 67, and there will be service changes on tram routes 3 and 3a.

For more information on delays and alternative routes, visit ptv.vic.gov.au.