Feb 8, 2013

Legacy Way being tunnelled at record pace

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk was today joined by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese at Legacy Way’s Kelvin Grove worksite where preparation works are underway on readying the site for tunnel breakthrough, now expected to occur in the next few months.

Mr Albanese said after several years of detailed planning, extensive community consultation and preconstruction activities it was great to see firsthand the progress that’s already been made in such a relatively short period of time.

“In partnership with Brisbane City Council, we are determined to deliver this important piece of new infrastructure for Brisbane as quickly as possible,” said Mr Albanese.

“This project brings together local and international expertise, including Brisbane-based BMD Constructions, Acciona from Spain and Italy’s Ghella, which amongst other things has built tunnels along the Trans-Siberian railway.

“The Legacy Way project is part of the unprecedented $6.5 billion Federally-funded capital works program currently being rolled out across south east Queensland, one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.”

Cr Quirk said the project’s tunnel boring machines (TBM) Annabell and Joyce were progressing at record speed and were expected to breakthrough in the next few months, as the TBMs continue to tunnel faster than forecasted.

“Legacy Way continues to exceed expectations with our TBMs both past the half way mark of the 4.6 km tunnels,” Cr Quirk said.

“The team has been working non-stop since tunnelling began in August 2012, progressing up to 150 metres per week.

“The machines have been setting record speeds for TBMs of their size in hard rock conditions, with Annabell now passed the 2.7 kilometre mark and Joyce on her heels at the 2.5 kilometre mark.”

“Joyce excavated a staggering 49.7 metres in one day, which is a record for large hard rock TBM, while Annabell‘s personal best stands at 48 metres.”

Cr Quirk said the project was an example of a world class construction activity.

He said works at the Kelvin Grove worksite were now fully focused on ensuring the area was ready for the arrival and disassembly of the TBMs and to create the tunnel’s eastern entry and exit lanes.

“The team is working around the clock to prepare for the breakthrough of the TBMs and to create two newly realigned eastbound lanes on the Inner City Bypass (ICB),” he said.

“The realigned eastbound ICB lanes will open to traffic in mid-2013 allowing the team to create the tunnel’s entry and exit lanes at Kelvin Grove.”

Work is also underway on the excavation of 36 cross passages and four substations within the tunnel.

Each TBM is 12.4m in diameter, 110m long and weighs 2,800 tonnes. Both Annabell and Joyce are travelling beneath Paddington.

Cr Quirk acknowledged the Federal Labor Government’s support for the project through $500 million in funding under its Nation Building Program.

Once completed in 2015, the $1.5 billion Legacy Way will be 4.6 kilometre road tunnel connecting the Western Freeway at Toowong with the ICB at Kelvin Grove.  It will almost halve peak hour travel times between the Centenary Bridge and the ICB.