Tun­nel borer grounds to a halt

Kalamunda Reporter - - News - Aaron Cor­lett

ONE of the Tun­nel Bor­ing Ma­chines (TBMs) dig­ging the For­rest­field-Air­port Link has stopped, al­though Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti de­nies there is a de­lay.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said TBM Grace had ceased op­er­a­tion be­cause of ground dis­tur­bances.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be a chal­lenge through this area be­cause of the dif­fer­ent types of for­ma­tions, so this is pre­cau­tion­ary; they are do­ing the re­view to see what ex­actly hap­pened,” she said.

“There have been two ground dis­tur­bances, so as a re­sult TBM Grace is wait­ing to get clear­ance; also they have taken this op­por­tu­nity to do some fur­ther main­te­nance.

“It’s a pre­cau­tion­ary re­view. We have brought in some in­de­pen­dent ex­perts to make sure ev­ery­thing is OK un­til we move for­ward.

“I think it’s mi­nor in re­spect to the over­all project but we want to make sure ev­ery­thing is clear to go for­ward.

“There’s no de­lay yet be­cause Grace was ahead of sched­ule.

“It’s just re­view­ing what is hap­pen­ing and mak­ing sure we are in the clear to keep go­ing.”

A Perth Air­port spokes­woman said there was no threat to pub­lic or worker safety.

“The tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion will al­low for the pro­cesses as­so­ci­ated with the tun­nelling to be in­de­pen­dently re­viewed and val­i­dated,” she said.

“The Pub­lic Trans­port Author­ity and Perth Air­port will work to­gether to progress the re­view in a timely man­ner to al­low for re­sump­tion of tun­nelling.”

Premier Mark McGowan said he learnt about the is­sue last week and the State Gov­ern­ment was do­ing its best to re­pair the sit­u­a­tion.

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