Salini Impregilo’s tunnel-boring machine (TBM) has broken through on the Forrestfield-Airport Link in Perth, marking the end of excavating two 8-km-long tunnels for a new metro line connecting the city’s eastern suburbs and its airport to the centre.
The last of the tunneling was completed by a specially designed TBM nicknamed Sandy.
By the second half of 2021, Salini says, the line should be carrying 20,000 passengers a day.
It will cut the journey from the east to the centre from 45 minutes by car to 20 minutes by underground rail.
The Italian contractor is 80% owner of a joint venture with NRW Pty, hired to design, build and maintain the link for 10 years.
It is intended to help Australia’s fourth largest city accommodate a population forecast to rise 60% in the next 20 years, from 2 to 3.2 million.
The joint venture will also build three stations.
Western Australia (WA) state premier Mark McGowan called it "a major milestone for WA infrastructure".
"While Western Australia has been grappling with Covid-19, TBM Sandy and the project team have been continuing to work on this incredible project for Perth."
Image: The last of the tunneling was completed by a specially designed TBM nicknamed Sandy (Salini Impregilo)