TBMs for Melbourne’s two major projects - West Gate Tunnel and Metro Tunnel – are on track to arrive early next year.
The custom-built Herrenknecht‘s TBMs have taken 12 months to build and test, and include offices, kitchens and bathrooms to support crews of up to 14 people.
The 4000t West Gate Tunnel machines are 15.6m in diameter and will be 90m long. The Metro Tunnel TBMs will be 100 metres long, weight up to 1,000t and have a diameter of 7.2m.
The local community will have the opportunity to name the TBMs and follow their progress over the next three years.
Both projects will be transform Melbourne. The Metro Tunnel will improve the city’s public transport network, delivering five new underground stations – freeing up the city loop so more trains can run between the city and suburbs.
The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, cutting travel times, taking trucks off local roads and creating 6,000 new jobs for Victoria.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said: “These massive tunnel boring machines will soon be hard at work 24/7, digging tunnels that will be used to get Victorians where they need to be, sooner.”
“Work on these tunnel boring machines is on track and on time. We’re not wasting a minute getting on and building the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel.”
“This is yet another example of our strong relationship with China, and how we can work together on projects that create jobs and boost economic growth.”
In April, GE reported that a tunnelling hub had been completed ahead of the TBMS arriving for the West Gate Tunnel.
Last week, it was announced that Keller with Intrafor (KIJV) had been awarded a contract for the construction of the substructure retention walls and foundation piling for five new stations on the Metro Tunnel Project.