Tunnel boring machines Meg and Joan have now both begun their journeys into the heart of Melbourne’s CBD as work continues on the latest section of the Victorian Government’s Metro Tunnel project.
TBM Meg was relaunched this week at the Parkville Station site, following closely behind TBM Joan – with the pair to create the one-kilometre section of dual tunnels from Parkville to the new State Library Station at the northern end of Swanston Street.
The two TBMs – named after Victoria’s first female premier Joan Kirner and Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning – were launched for the first time just over a year ago at the Arden Station site.
The two machines have already completed tunnelling the western section of the Metro Tunnel from its entrance in Kensington to the new Arden Station in North Melbourne and through to Parkville, Victoria’s world-renowned medical, research and education precinct.
Parkville Station is fast taking shape, with work well underway on the station entrances and permanent station structures underground.
Once Joan and Meg arrive at State Library Station, they will continue digging under Swanston Street towards Town Hall Station.
The third and fourth TBMs, Millie and Alice, recently completed the 1.7km stretch from Anzac Station to the eastern tunnel entrance at South Yarra – and are now being returned to the Anzac Station site, where they will be reassembled before starting to tunnel towards Town Hall Station early next year.
To date, all four TBMs have installed more than 31,000 concrete segments and excavated more than 371,000 cubic metres of rock and soil in the construction of the new tunnels.
Construction on the Metro Tunnel Project has continued throughout coronavirus restrictions, with workers adhering to strict safety measures in line with the Chief Health Officer’s advice.
When finished, the Metro Tunnel will connect the Sunbury Line to the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines with two 9km tunnels and five underground stations providing a metro-style service for Melburnians – creating additional capacity for more than half a million passengers a week during peak periods to transform the way Victorians travel.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The Metro Tunnel is all about making it faster and easier for people to travel between the suburbs and the city – and our tunnel boring machines are powering along deep under our city to build this vital link for Melbourne.”
“Work on the Metro Tunnel has continued with strict safety measures during the pandemic – and it’s these big projects that will lead the state’s recovery and continue to provide good local jobs for Victorians.”
Reviewed 09 November 2020