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Satellite data reveals greater than predicted Sydney tunnel impact

Satellite images have suggested that construction of the M4 West Connex road tunnels in Sydney, Australia is having a greater impact on surface ground movement than predicted by the project.

west connex 2

west connex 2

Source: Otus Intelligence

The green shows areas with no movement, while the yellow indicates ground movement and the dotted lines show the tunnel alignment

Spatial data specialist Otus Intelligence has said that analysis of satellite data has shown that properties up to 350m from the construction sites are being affected by the work.

The Lendlease Samsung Bouygues Joint Venture (LSBJV) was appointed by Australia’s New South Wales government to deliver the main tunnelling work on the West Connex M4-M5 Link project last summer. The design and construct deal, valued at AUS$7.25bn (£4.1bn), includes delivery of 7.5km of twin tunnels which will link the new M4 at Haberfield with the new M5 at St Peters.

Commenting on the changes to the satellite images, Otus Intelligence CEO Marc Beaudry said: “The first thing we picked up [from the satellite data] was that there was a lot of movement and it was in alignment with the tunnels, which is why we decided to share the information.

“This satellite technology has been used for tunnelling projects in Europe for several years and it’s been demonstrated to be extremely accurate.”

West Connex project promoter Transurban will only review ground movement claims from properties within 50m of the tunnel alignment or a construction site but Otus believes the satellite data shows movement is affecting a much wider area. The ground movements recorded by Otus vary from 20mm through to 100mm

Transurban has denied any claims for compensation so far and said that settlement is within agreed limits.

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