The first of Legacy Way’s two boring machines, Joyce, has broken through today, completing the tunnelling on the project’s northbound lanes some five months faster than originally expected.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today joined Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk onsite to mark this major milestone and congratulate the project team on their outstanding efforts given Joyce only began its work just six months ago.
“The tunnel boring progress has been nothing short of incredible, excavating an average of 150 metres per week,” said Mr Albanese.
“The 4.6 kilometre 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.
“This project is part of the record $6.5 billion Federally-funded capital works program currently being rolled out across Brisbane and South East Queensland, and is central to our efforts to tackle congestion and keep what is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions moving.”
The Federal Government has committed $500 million to the $1.5 billion Legacy Way project.
Cr Graham 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 can begin.
“Work will also continue on the new eastbound Inner City Bypass lanes, 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,” said Lord Mayor Quirk.
“Today’s completion of the tunnelling required for what will be the northbound lanes from Toowong to Kelvin Grove in almost half the expected time is a major achievement.”
The more than 500,000 cubic metres of rock and dirt removed by Joyce – enough material to fill 200 swimming pools – has been transferred via an underground spoil conveyor from the project’s Toowong worksite to the Mt Coot-tha Quarry.
The second tunnel boring machine, Annabell, is expected to break through in June.