- First tunnel-boring machine breaks through at Bayswater dive structure
- Arrival marks end of tunnelling for TBM Grace with TBM Sandy expected to finish in May
- Major infrastructure works to build project's three new stations continue
- Six METRONET projects to be underway in 2020, creating thousands of local jobs
In late July 2017, TBM Grace set off from Forrestfield to Bayswater, building one of two tunnels that will house the $1.86 billion project's rail lines.
Half of the 54,000 locally fabricated concrete segments - used to form the walls of the twin tunnels - were installed during Grace's journey, with her route taking her under Perth Airport and the Swan River and through diverse ground conditions.
On the way she passed through Airport Central and Redcliffe Station boxes, large structures in their own right.
TBM Grace will now be dismantled and craned out of the dive structure in preparation for the arrival of TBM Sandy, who is a safe distance behind Grace and is expected to finish tunnelling in May.
Trains are set to run on the new rail line in the second half of 2021, providing a 20-minute rail link between the eastern foothills, Perth Airport and the Perth central business district.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is a huge milestone for METRONET and the end of a very long journey for TBM Grace.
"Where once there was dirt, sand, rocks and tree roots, now sits the foundation for our new railway.
"Completing the Forrestfield-Airport Link is a key part of our METRONET plan to connect Perth's suburbs and ease congestion.
"Thank you to everyone involved, all the workers and the project team, for their commitment to this significant project for our State."
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"This is a proud moment for WA workers, who have just finished the longest rail tunnel ever attempted in WA history.
"We started tunnelling on the Forrestfield-Airport Link project in late July 2017 and we now eagerly anticipate the safe arrival of TBM Sandy in coming months to mark the completion of tunnelling.
"With the end of tunnelling in sight, work is continuing on important infrastructure components such as station construction and fit out and readying the tunnels for track laying.
"The precision engineering it has taken for this machine to tunnel eight kilometres, through varying and sometimes challenging soil types, to break through in exactly the right spot is truly remarkable.
"METRONET is the biggest public transport project Perth has ever seen and will provide a fast and easy transport connection between Perth's suburbs."
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