The two mammoth tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will deliver the centrepiece of Victoria’s biggest road project are now on order, as early works continue on the North East Link.
German supplier Herrenknecht will take around 18 months to design, manufacture, test and transport two TBMs for the project, each of which will be 90 metres long, 15.6 metres in diameter and weigh around 4000 tonnes.
Upon their arrival, the TBMs will set to work delivering the project’s twin 6.5 kilometre road tunnels between Watsonia and Bulleen.
Over the winter months, the new Yarra East Main Sewer which has been moved to make way for North East Link will be switched on, and the project will continue to set up construction compounds along Greensborough Road and at Winsor Reserve.
At the same time, work is powering ahead on the North East Link’s $69 million Bulleen Park & Ride, which forms part of Melbourne’s first dedicated busway.
The new Park & Ride facility is now expected to open by the end of 2022 – four years earlier than originally planned – and will be used by Eastern Freeway bus services operating along Thompsons Road prior to the dedicated busway along the Eastern Freeway opening in 2028.