West Gate Tunnel to launch tunnel boring machines

Photo by Victoria’s Big Build

The launch site for the two tunnel boring machines (TBM) deployed to create the West Gate Tunnel has been completed.

After a year of construction, the site which is about two times the length of an AFL oval, 300 metres long, 40 metres wide and 22 metres deep, is ready to launch the first TBM.

The 90 metre long TBM’s will dig south west to build the twin tunnels to connect the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and CityLink.

The tunnel will provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and aims to take 9000 trucks of residential streets.

Crews will now start lowering pieces of the first TBM, Bella, into the ground using a gantry crane capable of lifting 500 tonnes.

After Bella has been completely assembled in the ground parts of the second TBM, Vida, that will dig the shorter city boung tunnel will be put together.

Vida will be built above ground before being lowered into the launch site.

The launch site is lined with 20,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete to provide a stable site to set the 4000 tonne machines.

Once tunneling is complete, the launch site will then become the future northern entry and exit to the West Gate Tunnel.

The West Gate Tunnel is expected to be completed by 2022.

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