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TBM launch site for West Gate Tunnel complete

Launch site

Two tunnel boring machines (TBM) are being prepared for deployment at the West Gate Tunnel project’s completed launch site.

The site has taken a year to complete and is twice the length of an AFL oval, measuring in at 300 metres long, 40 metres wide and 22 metres deep.

It is from here that the TBM will begin to dig south west to build the twin tunnels to connect the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and CityLink.

It is part of the Victorian Government’s goal to provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and take 9000 trucks of residential streets.

Crews will now start lowering pieces of the first TBM, Bella, into the ground using a gantry crane capable of lifting 500 tonnes.

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After Bella has been constructed, a second TBM called Vida will be assembled to begin digging the shorter citybound tunnel. Vida will be assembled above ground before being lowered into the launch site.

The launch site is lined with 20,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete to provide a stable site to for the 4000-tonne machines.

Once tunnelling is complete, the launch site will become the future northern entry and exit to the West Gate Tunnel.

The West Gate Tunnel is expected to be completed by 2022.

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