Brisbane completes Airport Link excavation Jul 2011
Airport Link News Release
- Within three days of each other, the two 12.48m diameter Herrenknecht EPBMs in Brisbane, Australia, completed the last lengths of excavation for the Airport Link underground highway. Rocksy broke through on Monday 4th July and Sandy on Wednesday 6th.
End of underground highway excavation
- Less than a year after setting out, the $45 million TBM twin set finished their 2.5km underground journey from Toombul to Lutwyche.
- Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh joined tunnelling crews at the last breakthrough and celebrate the significant end of all major tunnelling milestone for the project. "The tunnellers have been working day and night on the project for the last two years. They have made an extraordinary contribution to this vital project and they should be proud of a job well done," said the Premier. "Scheduled to be open in mid- 2012, this vital project is now 80% complete with nearly 15km of tunnels and ramps excavated between Bowen Hills and Toombul."
- "Once operational, the Airport Link will be the first major motorway connecting Brisbane's CBD (central business district) with the airport, providing high-speed underground travel and eliminating 18 sets of traffic lights," said Bligh.
- Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade, Andrew Fraser said the giant TBMs have travelled a combined total of 5km from Kalinga Park to Lutwyche, working more than 14,000 hours.
- "Over the last year, the TBMs have moved through varying ground conditions from very hard rock to mud-like conditions. Wearing out about 900 cutters, they have excavated more than 1.25 million tonne of spoil which was transported to Nudgee Road via a 2km long overland continuous conveyor," said Fraser. "A total 22,000 pre-cast concrete segments were installed to line parallel 2-lane highway tunnels."
- The 12.48m diameter TBM cutterheads are dressed with up to 80 x 17in cutters and about 22 workers per TBM per shieft worked on TBM excavation around the clock.
- Some 20 million hours have been worked on the full project to date and it has surpassed its expected peak employment bringing the jobs total to more than 4,300. The contract has created 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.
- Thiess John Holland Project Director Gordon Ralph said the two TBM cutterheads and shields will now be dismantled and buried in purpose built pits in the invert of the breakthrough chamber and fully encased in concrete.
- "Holes will be cut into sections of the shield to ensure the complete internal and external encasement of the machines," said Ralph. "The 180m backups of each machine will be removed via Bowen Hills for recycling and reuse where possible," he said.
- In combination, the Airport Link and its associated underground Northern Busway route between Windsor and Kedron are expected to reduce traffic on Lutwyche Road by up to 40%.
- The project, which is being designed and constructed by Thiess John Holland, along with the Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) and the Airport Roundabout Upgrade, is part of a massive $4.8 billion infrastructure investment on Brisbane's Northside.
It's a pair as second Brisbane Airport Link TBM breaks through - TunnelTalk, March 2011
Buried end for Airport Link TBMs - TunnelTalk, Jan 2011
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