Watch: Alice breaks through at South Yarra

The twin eastern tunnels between Anzac Station and South Yarra are now complete, with the second tunnel boring machine (TBM), named after wartime medical hero Alice Appleford, breaking through into the South Yarra cavern on Saturday.

With this section of the tunnel now completed, the TBMs will be transported back through the tunnel and begin digging towards the CBD with their cutterheads transported above ground.

Once reunited, the TBMs will be reassembled and then launched towards the future Town Hall station.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said that the project was making significant strides.

“This is yet another milestone on this huge project, which will create room for more trains, more often and continues to support hundreds of jobs.”

On the western approach to the Metro Tunnel, TBMs Joan and Meg are also on their way to the CBD, heading south from the site of the future Parkville station towards the State Library before they finish their journey at Town Hall Station.

With all TBMs converging on the CBD, over half of the tunnelling has been completed. Over 31,000 concrete segments have been installed to form the rings lining the tunnels and 371,000 cubic metres of rock and soil have been removed.

While the TBMs continue their work, the construction of the entrances to the tunnels is progressing. At South Yarra, the base slab for the entrance has been poured and crews are working on the internal walls.

At all sites, workers are continuing to follow COVID-19 health guidelines, which can ensure the project continues while Melbourne remains under lockdown.

“Workers on the Metro Tunnel Project have done a fantastic job to keep this project pushing ahead while taking the greatest care with their own health and safety,” said Allan.

Once complete, the twin tunnels will increase capacity through the core of the Melbourne network by providing new stations and more trains.

Watch footage of the breakthrough of TBM Alice below.