A competition was held to name the machines after ground breaking women of Victoria to follow a tradition that dates back to the 1500s when miners working with explosives for underground excavation would pray to Saint Barbara for protection.
The two 90 metres long, 4000 tonne TBMs will be called Bella and Vida.
Bella Guerin was the first woman to graduate from a university in Australia in 1883, who then went on to teach at Loreto Convent in Ballarat.
Vida Goldstein campaigned for women’s rights, establishing the right for women to vote and stand for election.
The winners of the competition will be invited onto the West Gate Tunnel worksite next year to watch the machines be assembled.
In the coming weeks a steel frame will go up on the tunnelling shed at the Yarraville tunnelling hub site.
Two retaining walls have been built on either side of the tunnel site, with around 1000 support columns in the ground to keep workers safe while they dig down 22 metres to establish the launch site for the TBMs.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the TBMs will be working around the clock to deliver an alternative to the West Gate Bridge to slash travel times and take thousands of trucks off local streets.
“Just as Bella Guerin blazed a trail as the first woman to graduate from an Australian university, the Bella TBM will help to connect thousands of students in the western suburbs, Geelong and Ballarat to educational opportunities,” he said.