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11 May 2020
Tunnelling has finished on the Forrestfield-Airport Link after tunnel boring machine (TBM) Sandy has cracked through at Bayswater dive structure.
The 130-metre long TBM has made around eight kilometre of tunnels under Perth Airport and the Swan River over 900 days.
The first TBM, Grace, arrived nine weeks prior to Sandy on 18 February 2020. The two machines worked to create twin boring tunnels that will link three new stations at Forrestfield, Airport Central and Redcliffe to the already existing rail networks.
TBM Sandy has installed more than 9000 tunnel rings, made out of 54,000 locally fabricated concrete segments to build the tunnel walls, designed to last 120 years.
TBM Sandy will now be pulled apart and crane lifted out of the dive structure. Installation of the first stage of track slab is now around half way complete. Track laying is scheduled to start July 2020.
Construction is also continuing for the fit-out of the new station buildings.
The $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link project currently provides more than 700 Western Australian jobs and, along with the other METRONET projects, will play an important role in WA’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
Trains are tipped to run on the new rail line in the second half of 2021.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said in July 2017, she was with Premier Mark McGowan at the Forrestfield Station site to mark the start of tunnelling on the Forrestfield-Airport Link.
“Now I am happy to announce tunnelling is complete. TBM Sandy has lived up to her subterranean, and uniquely Western Australian, namesake in completing the second of our two tunnels,” Saffioti said.
“As we turn to the project’s next phase of construction, TBM Sandy’s breakthrough is a timely reminder of the vital role METRONET projects will play in WA’s COVID-19 economic recovery.”