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Tunnelling has officially begun on the Cross River Rail, one of the largest infrastructure project in Queensland's history.
A tunnelling machine has been assembled at the bottom of an 18-metre-deep shaft below Roma Street Station and will excavate about 50 tonnes of rock and soil each hour.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre), Treasurer Cameron Dick (right) and Minister for State Development Kate Jones (left) at the Cross River Rail's Roma street station construction site.CREDITAN PELED/AAP
The machine will dig twin tunnels to run from Roma Street to Woolloongabba, underneath the Brisbane River.
The tunnelling site is covered by an enormous "acoustic shed" designed to minimise noise and contain dust.
Next door to the tunnelling site, the Hotel Jen is being pulled down at a rate of one floor each week.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspected the site on Thursday.
“Above ground, demolition has also been underway for several months at the site of the new station – but today is a huge milestone for this project as we start tunnelling for the first time,” she said.
“This is just the beginning of the underground works, with 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels and four underground stations to be excavated in total."
Both buses and trains will arrive at Roma Street Station underground once the project is complete.
Once Cross River Rail is operational, 36,000 passengers were expected to use Roma Street every day to transfer between buses and trains.
Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones said the start of tunnelling signified the beginning of a new phase of the project.
“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on our economy. But we won’t let it derail Queensland’s largest infrastructure project," she said.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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