Microtunnelling, Tunnelling

That’s one big bore

The 12.48 m cutterhead was lowered underground by a gantry crane into the six-storey tunnel launch box in preparation for the scheduled launch of the first TBM in July.

Ms Bligh said the lowering of the 220 tonne cutterhead represented a significant step towards the start of the TBM tunnelling for Airport Link.

“Soon the TBM will begin its journey from a giant launch box which measures 105 m long by 35 m wide and six storeys deep. A 300-strong team worked around the clock for 18 months to construct the box,” Ms Bligh said.

The first TBM is expected to begin its twelve month journey from Toombul to Lutwyche in late July, boring forward at approximately 85 m per week.

The Airport Link project is being constructed together with the Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron), and the Airport Roundabout Upgrade Project. The combined Airport Link projects are the biggest infrastructure construction underway in Australia.

When it opens in mid 2012, Airport Link will be the first major motorway connecting Brisbane city with the airport and northern suburbs.

Name that bore

Ms Bligh has invited Brisbane residents to help name the two machines.

“In keeping with tradition, we ask that people nominate a female name for the machines when sending us their entries,” Ms Bligh said.

The winners will be invited to join site workers when the first TBM begins its excavation. To register for the competition click here.

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