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Cross River Rail tunnelling completed


Queensland’s biggest ever infrastructure project has reached a massive milestone with the final mega machine breaking through at the Northern Portal near the Inner City Bypass, marking the end of tunnelling for the project.

Cross River Rail’s Tunnel Boring Machine Merle has finished its journey beneath the Brisbane River and CBD, achieving its breakthrough near Bowen Bridge Road. The project’s other TBM – Else – completed tunnelling in late November.

TMB Else emerged at Cross River Rail’s Northern Portal after excavating 155,000 cubic metres of tunnel, the equivalent of 62 Olympic swimming pools. It tunnelled 3.8 kilometres from Woolloongabba, under the Brisbane River to Albert Street and then onto Roma Street.

The TBMs have excavated 310,000 cubic metres of spoil and installed about 27,000 concrete segments to line the tunnel’s walls, each weighing about 4.2 tonnes.

Cross River Rail is a new 10.2-kilometre rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, which includes 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and the CBD.

The two 5.9-kilometre twin tunnels below the Brisbane River and CBD will be home to four underground stations, Albert Street, Roma Street, Woolloongabba and Boggo Road.

It will aim to remove the pressure on the network, which is set to be accelerated by South East Queensland’s increasing population.

The Queensland Government says this will be achieved by delivering a second river crossing, allowing more trains to run more often and integrating with new roads and new bus services to enable a turn-up-and-go public transport system across the whole of South East Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project would provide stability to the state’s public transport network.

“Cross River Rail is pumping more than $4 million a day into our economy and driving our economic recovery with around 2600 people currently working on it and 7700 jobs supported over the life of the project,” she said.

“Cross River Rail will transform travel in South East Queensland meaning less cars on the road, faster journeys, more stations in more convenient locations and the capacity to increase train services on every line as our population grows.”

At the peak of tunnelling, more than 450 people were working on Cross River Rail’s twin tunnels, while 80 tunnel workers were able to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship over the past year.

The $5.4 billion project is being funded and delivered by the Queensland Government.

More reading

Else breaks through for CRR

TBM Merle launched