Friday, April 19, 2024

Double tunnel breakthrough for Sydney Metro West

Two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have broken through solid rock, putting Sydney Metro West on the map as the first project in the southern hemisphere to achieve a double TBM breakthrough. 

This breakthrough to arrive at the Five Dock Metro Station site marks an important milestone in the NSW Government’s plan to build an enhanced Sydney Metro West project.

They are the first two TBM breakthroughs for the project as work powers ahead to build twin 24km metro tunnels.

“This breakthrough at Five Dock is an important milestone as we progress towards the completion of this project and the creation of thousands of new homes,” said Premier, Chris Minns.

“We’re building this major public transport project at the same time as we’re turbocharging the creation of new housing in our state. We know more supply is the key to making housing more affordable.

“This project won’t just change the way people move around our city; it will now also provide the well-located homes for future generations to live in.” 

TBM Daphne broke through first, followed closely by TBM Beatrice, after building the 4.3km section of metro tunnel from The Bays to Five Dock for around 7 months. 

To date, the huge machines have excavated a total of 437,463 tonnes of material each. Combined, this is enough to fill 135 Olympic swimming pools. 

Transport Minister, Jo Haylen said the once-in-a-century infrastructure investment will also double rail capacity between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, making it easier and faster to travel around western Sydney; link new communities to rail services and support employment growth and housing supply.   

“Now this is truly ground-breaking – never before has a project in the southern hemisphere achieved what we are seeing right here with this double breakthrough,” said Minister Haylen.

“Record-breaking milestones like this offer a snapshot at the sheer scale and ambitious nature of Sydney Metro West, that will completely transform this great city.

“Sydney Metro West will transform travel in Sydney’s west including right here in Five Dock, a location that will welcome its very first railway connection to put both the Sydney CBD and Western Sydney at its doorstep.”

TBMs Beatrice and Daphne are two of six machines building the tunnels for the new Sydney Metro West line connecting Greater Parramatta to the Sydney CBD.  

Two are currently tunnelling between Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead, while the final fifth and sixth TBMs will launch in 2024, starting at The Bays, moving under harbour to Pyrmont and onto Hunter Street.

A total of 30,732 precast concrete segments have been installed by both TBMs to line the new 7-metre wide tunnels. 

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