The shed will attempt to keep noise and dust at a minimum for nearby residents and businesses, while 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil is excavated to build Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.
According to a West Gate Tunnel Authority statement, over 12,000 work hours have gone into building the 180 metre long and 90 metre wide shed.
“It will be connected to the tunnel by a conveyer system that will be 15 kilometres long by the time tunnelling comes to an end,” the statement reads.
“The West Gate Tunnels second tunnel boring machine (TBM) Vida has now arrived in Melbourne. Both TBMs are now being assembled with Bella to launch mid-year and Vida to follow afterwards.”
Rock and soil will be taken from underground on the conveyer to the launch site for the tunnel boring machines, over the top of Somerville Road on covered conveyer, and then into giant bins before being trucked away.
“The conveyers will move at 12.6 kilometres per hour and at the peak of activity will move 9000 tonnes of rock and soil a day,” the statement reads.
“The shed and conveyer belt over the road are an essential part of keeping traffic moving and reducing noise and dust for the community while this essential project is underway.”
Over 3500 people are currently working on the project, with most major work sites established.
The West Gate Tunnel will cut travel times from the west by up to 20 minutes, with the tunnels connecting the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and Citylink.
In the 18 months since work started on the West Gate Tunnel, 6.3 million work hours have been clocked up on the project.
Construction is scheduled to finished in 2022.