Joyce, the first of two tunnel boring machines for the $ 1.5 billion Legacy Way Project, has broken through in Brisbane’s Kelvin Grove today, in almost half the expected time.
Joyce only began boring the 4.6km tunnel from Toowong six months ago, when project contractor Transcity had planned it would take her at least an year to complete her journey to Kelvin Grove, up to 54m underground.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese joined Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk onsite to mark the major milestone and congratulate the project team on its outstanding efforts.
“The tunnel boring progress has been nothing short of incredible, excavating an average of 150 meters per week”, Albanese said.
“The 4.6 kilometer tunnel will connect the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.
“Once completed in 2015, Legacy Way will almost halve peak hour travel times between the Centenary Bridge and the Inner City Bypass”.
Quirk said the project team would now work around-the-clock to remove Joyce from the worksite so the tunnel’s mechanical and electrical fit could begin.
“Work will also continue on the new eastbound Inner City Bypass Ianes, which are due to be realigned in mid-2013 and will allow the team to create the tunnel’s entry and exit lanes at Kelvin Grove,” Quirk said.
“Today’s completion of the tunneling required for what will be the northbound lanes from Toowong to Kelvin Grove in almost half the expected time is a major achievement”.
More than 500,000 cubic metres of rock and dirt removed by Joyce – enouth material to fill 200 swimming pools – has been trasferred via at a 530m underground spoil conveyor from the project’s Toowong worksite to the Mt Coot-ta quarry.
The second tunnel boring machine, Annabell, is expected to break through in June.