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Perth Airport tunnel breakthroughs achieved

Western Australia Transport Authority has announced that both tunnel boring machines (TBMs) driving the Forrestfield-Airport Link in Perth have achieved breakthrough into the Airport Central Station box.

The transport authority said that the breakthrough of the Herrenknecht TBMs into the station box 17m below ground level marks completion of a quarter of the 8km twin bore tunnel drives to Bayswater.

Breakthrough of the second TBM was achieved over the weekend and comes after both TBM were halted for a number of weeks due to “ground disturbance” issues.

Salini Impregilo constructed a 12.5m deep section formed from concrete blocks to stabilise the walls of the station box and reduce water ingress during the breakthrough.

Both TBMs will now undergo a month long maintenance programme before being relaunched towards Redcliffe Station.

“As transport minister, I am thrilled to see the TBMs arrive at the future Airport Central Station,” said Western Australia transport minister Rita Saffioti. “It is a visible sign of great progress on the project.

“This is the biggest rail project to take place in Western Australia for more than a decade, and will dramatically change the way eastern foothills residents travel, how their communities develop, and how the rest of Perth journeys to Perth Airport.”

The first of the two TBMs was launched in July last year and the tunnelling work is expected to be completed in summer 2019.


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