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Tunnel boring to begin on North East Link

TBM north east link

The North East Link in Victoria is making with progress, with segments of the first tunnel boring machine (TBM) to dig the twin tunnels are lowered into the ground.

At the Watsonia site for the North East Link, two of the largest TBMs in the southern hemisphere will start digging the 6.5km tunnels in mid-2024.

The first pieces of the machines were lowered into the ground by a 550-tonne gantry crane. When assembled, each 4000 tonne TBM will be 90m long and more than 15m wide.

The TBMs will soon work their way south from Watsonia toward Bulleen, while crews begin installing tunnel walls made of almost 44,000 individual concrete segments.

Across the north-east, a significant level of work is underway to prepare for tunnelling. A 200-metre-long TBM launch box in Watsonia has been completed, and work has started on the underground box structures near Lower Plenty Road and Manningham Road where the TBMs will excavate into on their journey south.

“This is another significant milestone for North East Link – getting us closer to moving trucks off local roads and slashing travel times across the north-east,” Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Danny Pearson said.

“We’re getting on with assembling TBMs on site so tunnelling can kick off in the coming months – building the longer 6.5-kilometre tunnels the community asked for.”

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