The Victorian Government has placed an order for two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) – the biggest in the southern hemisphere – that will be used to build Melbourne’s AU$6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel.
The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, upgrading the West Gate Freeway and linking it to the city and CityLink.
Weighing 4,000 t, the 15.6 m diameter, 90 m long TBMs will be launched from the northern tunnel portal in Footscray and, once in the ground, build 6.8 km of tunnel between the Maribyrnong River and the West Gate Freeway.
“These massive tunnel boring machines will be hard at work 24/7, digging tunnels that will be used by Victorians for generations to come,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan.
The West Gate Tunnel Project is expected to provide an estimated AU$11 billion boost to the Victorian economy, creating 6,000 new jobs, including 500 jobs for people entering the workforce, and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.
The first TBM will be launched in 2019 and is expected to take two years to complete, tunnelling at a rate of approximately 9 m per day.
Construction on the project is set to start within the next few weeks.
For more information visit the West Gate Tunnel Project website.
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