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The West Gate Tunnel Project will launch 90m Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to dig south west, building twin tunnels connecting the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and CityLink.
The launch site has taken a year to complete and is about two times the length of an AFL oval, coming in at 300m long, 40m wide and 22m deep.
Crews will now start lowering pieces of the first TBM, called ‘Bella’, into the ground using a gantry crane capable of lifting up to 500 tonnes.
After Bella has been completely assembled in the ground, parts of the second TBM ‘Vida’ which will dig the shorter citybound tunnel, will be assembled above ground before being lowered into the launch site.
The launch site is lined with 20,000m₃ of reinforced concrete to provide a stable site to launch the 4000 tonne machines.
Once tunnelling is complete, the launch site will become the future northern entry and exit to the West Gate Tunnel.
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au
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