The two TBMs that will build the West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne, Australia, are being designed and built by Herrenknecht.
They will be used to build Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge. The AU$6.7bn West Gate Tunnel project will upgrade the West Gate Freeway and link it to the city and the CityLink tolled road network with a new tunnel under Yarraville and bridges over the Maribyrnong River.
Construction on the project kicks off in the next few weeks, with works beginning at the site of the northern tunnel portal in Footscray, where the first TBM will be launched in early 2019.
After taking 12 months to build and test, the massive machines will work day and night for nearly two years, at a rate of about nine metres per day, to build 6.8km of tunnel between the Maribyrnong River and the West Gate Freeway.
They will stand 15.6 metres in diameter – as tall as a five-storey building – and will be 90 metres long. Each will weigh about 4,000 tonnes. The cover to the tunnel will be 27.2 metres at its deepest point.
The West Gate Tunnel Project is expected to provide an AU$11 billion boost to the economy in the state of Victoria, creating 6,000 new jobs - including 500 jobs for people entering the workforce - and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.