Air­port tun­nel link grounds to a halt

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - 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.

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.

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