Second rail tunnel through to William Street
The second bored tunnel linking Esplanade Station to the underground platforms at William Street was completed early this morning, marking an important milestone for the New MetroRail City Project.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said today that, with both tunnels south of William Street complete, risk associated with the bored tunnelling operation was significantly reduced.
"We are well and truly on track for completion of all of the city project works by April 2007, and for passenger services on the Southern Suburbs Railway to begin in July 2007," Ms MacTiernan said.
"Tunnelling below buildings and through the ground anchor zone in the inner CBD has now been successfully negotiated, with minimal ground movement and no impact on the infrastructure above.
"The 300-tonne tunnel boring machine began this section of the tunnel in late July and has advanced at an average rate of well over 10m a day, again exceeding progress targets.
"There is no question that this outcome represents world-class performance by our contractor Leighton Kumagai."
The Minister said that during its 470m run from the Esplanade to William Street, the TBM passed directly under four buildings for the second time.
It also passed beneath many ground anchors - redundant steel cables used as temporary support for construction of the basements of several high-rise buildings on William Street.
Over the coming weeks, the TBM would be moved through the William Street platform box to commence the final section of bored tunnel, which passed under Wellington Street, Horseshoe Bridge and the existing rail lines west of Perth Station.
Tunnelling was on course for completion by the end of October 2006.