The first tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Joan has worked around the clock for months, dug underneath the city, and installed the tunnel’s massive concrete rings.
Joan is named after former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner and she has now broken through a 13m-deep shaft at Childers Street, Kensington, completing the journey from Arden Station.
Since her launch in August 2019, Joan has travelled 1.2km tunnelling under rail lines, CityLink, Moonee Ponds Creek, North Yarra Main Sewer, and the West Melbourne Terminal Station and installed 4,200 curved concrete segments to create 700 rings lining the walls of the tunnel.
The segments, each weighing 4.5 tonnes, are among 56,000 being manufactured by 70 workers at a purpose-built concrete manufacturing plant in Deer Park.
The second TBM, Meg, who is named after Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, is travelling on a parallel route to carve out the second tunnel from Arden to Kensington and will break through in the coming weeks.
Work began in January at the site of the new Anzac Station on St Kilda Road site to assemble the third and fourth TBMs for the Metro Tunnel Project. These are expected to be launched in mid-2020.
The Andrews Labour Government said Victoria’s massive transport infrastructure program will continue over autumn with the next phase of work concentrating on level crossing removals.
Following level crossing removal at Toorak Road and major works at Cheltenham and Mentone station, a three-month construction blitz will begin on the Upfield line in July.
Works will include the elevation of tracks, construction of two new stations, and removal of four level crossings.
Ongoing excavation to build an underground pedestrian connection between Flinders Street Station and the new Town Hall Station in the Metro Tunnel is currently underway.
Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure, said there are nearly 120 major road and rail projects on the go across the state and this autumn.
Melissa Horne, Minister for Public Transport said that it’s vital the Victorian government continues to invest in infrastructure for the benefit of Melbourne’s residents and visitors.