The Forrestfield-Airport Link’s first tunnel boring machine (TBM) has begun operations on the project in Perth, Western Australia.
On Sunday 30 July, Premier Mark McGowan, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, and the winners of the TBM naming and decorating competition attended the official launch of the TBM named ‘Grace’.
Grace was launched from a 260 m long, 22 m wide dive pit that was purpose built over seven months.
The TBM will bore a route from Forrestfield to Bayswater, excavating one of the 8.5 km twin tunnels underneath the Swan River, to create a new rail line connecting the eastern suburbs of Perth with existing rail networks in Perth’s CBD.
Grace will run 24 hours a day, operated by an 18 person crew who will monitor thrust force, face pressure, temperature, greases, grout and the volume of excavated soil over the duration of the project.
The crew is being trained by international tunnelling experts; at the end of the project, team members will be capable of completing future tunnelling projects.
A slurry separation plant, grout plant and water treatment plant have been installed on the constructions site east of Dundas Road as part of the key infrastructure supporting TBM operations throughout the project.
The second TBM, ‘Sandy’, is currently being assembled onsite and is anticipated to start tunnelling in September.
For more information visit the Forrestfield-Airport Link website.
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