Business, Earthmoving News

Sydney Metro West tunnel boring machines make breakthrough

The two tunnel boring machines have achieved the southern hemisphere’s first double breakthrough

Two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) working on a Sydney Metro project have broken through a rock wall to arrive at Five Dock Metro Station and claim the title as the first TBMs in the southern hemisphere to complete a double breakthrough.

The TBMs have achieved the first two breakthroughs for Sydney Metro West as work progresses on building twin 24km-long metro tunnels between Westmead and the Sydney CBD.

TBM Daphne broke through first, followed closely by TBM Beatrice, after building the 4.3km section of metro tunnel from The Bays to Five Dock for around seven months.

The two 1,300-tonne machines will spend the next few weeks traversing to the western end of the station cavern. During this time, the machines will undergo all necessary maintenance before being relaunched to continue their journey to Sydney Olympic Park.

To date, the huge machines have excavated a total of 437,463 tonnes of material each and installed about 30,732 precast concrete segments to line the new tunnel walls.

To prepare for the arrival of the TBMs, the Five Dock station cavern was excavated with about 286,047 tonnes of material removed to create the underground box-like structure that is 22 metres wide and 30 metres deep.

“This breakthrough at Five Dock is an important milestone as we progress towards the completion of this project and the creation of thousands of new homes,” NSW premier Chris Minns says.

“We’re building this major public transport project at the same time as we’re turbocharging the creation of new housing in our state. We know more supply is the key to making housing more affordable.”

“This project won’t just change the way people move around our city; it will now also provide the well-located homes for future generations to live in.”

Next stop for the TBMs is the Burwood North Metro Station site about two kilometres away, where they are due to arrive in early 2024.

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