TBM Bella reaches 1km milestone

Image courtesy of Victoria’s Big Build.

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) ‘Bella’ has reached the one-kilometre mark of its four-kilometre journey for the West Gate Tunnel Project’s outbound tunnel.

Meanwhile, the second TBM, ‘Vida’, has passed the 20 per cent mark of its 2.8-kilometre journey digging the inbound tunnel.

The TBMs are building the new twin tunnels between the Maribyrnong River and the West Gate Freeway, which will provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge.

Ventilation structures at each tunnel exit, as well as a freeway management system to support traffic flow and safety will also be delivered as part of the project.

The multi-billion-dollar project aims to enable quicker and safer journeys and remove more than 9000 trucks a day from the streets of Melbourne’s inner west.

Both TBMs are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TBM Vida will take around a year to complete the inbound dig, while TBM Bella will tunnel for 18 months.

Each machine weighs around 4000 tonnes, are 90 metres long and span 15.6 metres in diameter. They are piloted by highly trained specialist crews, with up to 20 people working inside at any one time.

Both TBMs started their journey at the northern portal in Yarraville and are moving south-west towards the southern portals along the West Gate Freeway.

The West Gate Tunnel Project is estimated for completion by the end of 2025.

To track the progress of the TBMs, visit: bigbuild.vic.gov.au



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