Assembly is underway on the first of two 15.6m diameter Herrenknecht TBMs that CPB Contractors and John Holland (CPBJH JV) will use to build the A$6.7bn West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne, Australia. Premier Daniel Andrews joined the Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan at the project’s northern portal site in Yarraville today to see the progress of the massive machine that will build Victoria’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.
After taking 12 months to build and test, the machines will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to build the 6.8km of tunnel between the Maribyrnong River and the West Gate Freeway. Boring is scheduled to take nearly two years, at a rate of around 9m per day.
The TBMs will start their journey at the northern portal and move south-west towards the southern portals in the West Gate Freeway. Work will start on the 4km long outbound tunnel first, closely followed by the 2.8km long inbound tunnel. The longer tunnel will take around 18 months to bore.
The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, providing a much needed second river crossing, quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks from residential streets.
The West Gate Freeway is being widened, and will include express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge, reducing weaving and merging that leads to traffic congestion
The tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River will take cars and trucks underground and off residential streets in the inner west, providing a more efficient freight route and new journey choices for motorists
A bridge over the Maribyrnong River, linking to an elevated road along Footscray Road, will also get people to the city’s north, and ramps will give trucks direct access to the port
With major tunnelling works set to start this year, legislation will also be introduced into parliament this week that will provide the framework for the management of the road when it opens in 2022.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, “All it takes is one crash to turn the West Gate Bridge into a car park. We desperately need this second river crossing and we’re not wasting a minute delivering it.”
“The West Gate Tunnel will slash travel times, create thousands of jobs and get trucks off local streets in Melbourne’s west.”