Tunnelling is halfway complete on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, with two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) reaching significant milestones.
On Saturday, TBM Meg broke through at the new Parkville station cavern. Less than 24 hours earlier TBM Millie finished its tunnelling journey from Anzac Station to South Yarra.
In total, the TBMs have excavated 364,000 cubic metres of rock and soil so far. Over 30,000 concrete segments have been laid to line the walls of the tunnels.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said that the breakthroughs were evidence of the dedication of the team involved.
“To reach the halfway mark of tunnelling and to have two major breakthroughs in successive days just shows how hard crews have been working to keep building major infrastructure Victorians will benefit from,” she said.
TBM Millie’s cutterhead will be removed via a crane and transported to the Anzac Station site. The rest of the machine will be pulled back through the tunnel and turned around to head towards Town Hall station with the cutterhead reattached later this year.
TBM Joan is about to be relaunched from Parkville Station to head towards the State Library, and TBM Meg will follow shortly after.
All TBMs have been employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with workers limited on site and subject to strict safety protocols to ensure the project could continue.
“We thank all the workers who have been adhering to health and safety guidelines to make sure we can continue this fantastic project,” said Allan.
Once complete, the twin tunnels will increase capacity through the core of the Melbourne network by providing new stations and more trains.
“The Metro Tunnel Project is just one of the pipeline of major projects that will continue to drive our economy and create jobs as we rebuild in the coming months and years,” said Allan.
Watch footage of the breakthroughs below.