Shov­els in for West Gate Tun­nel

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WORK has fi­nally be­gun on the West Gate Tun­nel, Vic­to­ria’s al­ter­na­tive to the West Gate Bridge.

Work­ers have started clear­ing a site on White­hall Street in Footscray, where they’ll dig down more than seven storeys, clear­ing the way for the projects two mas­sive tun­nel bor­ing ma­chines (TBMs).

When they’re launched in 2019, the two TBMs will tun­nel to­wards the West Gate Free­way, mov­ing nine me­tres per day and ex­ca­vat­ing enough rock and soil to fill the MCG.

As the TBM bores through the earth, it will in­stall a con­crete lin­ing be­hind it – form­ing the walls, roof and base of the tun­nel.

An­other work site will be es­tab­lished on the other side of Somerville Road later this year, with the two sites con­nected by an el­e­vated, cov­ered con­veyor belt.

The tun­nel will open in 2022.

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