Airport tunnel link grounds to a halt
ONE of the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) digging the Forrestfield-Airport Link has stopped, although Transport Minister Rita Saffioti denies there is a delay.
The State Government said the machine had stopped in a paddock approaching Perth Airport.
Ms Saffioti said the machine had stopped 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, so they are doing a review about how the TBM was operating in that area and also the ground formation.
“There’s no delay yet because Grace was ahead of schedule.
A Perth Airport spokeswoman said there was no threat to safety.
“The temporary suspension will allow for the processes associated with the tunnelling to be independently reviewed and validated,” she said.
“PTA and Perth Airport will work together to progress the review in a timely manner to allow for resumption of tunnelling.”
The review is expected to take about two weeks.
Tunnel Boring Machine Grace has ceased operations because of ground disturbances.