Tower banner July, August (left)
Tower banner July, August (right)

West Gate TBM sets sail for Melbourne

A second tunnel boring machine (TBM) is on its way to Melbourne where it will be used to construct the West Gate Tunnel.

In a journey expected to take approximately four weeks, TBM Vida is making its way to Melbourne from Nansha, China in order to join its ‘sister’ TBM Bella, which will begin its tunnelling duties in the middle of this year.

Upon arrival at the Port of the Melbourne, the Vida will be reassembled from the hundreds of different pieces that have been stowed away on the ship for delivery.

Like its counterpart, Vida weighs 4,000 t, is 15.6 m in diameter and has a length of 90 m.

The TBM is named after women’s rights campaigner Vida Goldstein.

The AU$6.7 billion West Gate project will provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, upgrading the West Gate Freeway and linking it to the city and CityLink.

The TBMs will bore at an average rate of around 9 m per day, with the process expected to take two years to complete.

At its deepest point, the tunnel will be 27.2 m below the surface.

For more information visit the West Gate Tunnel Project website.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Chloe Jenkins at

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