The West Gate Tunnel has completed construction of a massive shed to minimise noise and dust disruptions, as tunnelling on the project gets ready to begin.
The shed will make sure noise and dust is kept to a minimum for nearby residents and businesses while 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil is excavated to build Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.
Over 12,000 work hours have gone into building the shed, which is 180m long and 90mwide, and bigger than the Altona Bunnings.
It will be connected to the tunnel by a conveyer system that will be 15kmlong by the time tunnelling comes to an end.
The West Gate Tunnels second tunnel boring machine (TBM) Vida has now arrived in Melbourne. Both TBMs are now being assembled with Bella to launch mid-year and Vida to follow afterwards.
Rock and soil will be taken from underground on the conveyer to the launch site for the tunnel boring machines, over the top of Somerville Road on covered conveyer, and then into giant bins before being trucked away.
The conveyers will move at 12.6km per hour and at the peak of activity will move 9000 tonnes of rock and soil a day.
The shed and conveyer belt over the road are an essential part of keeping traffic moving and reducing noise and dust for the community while this essential project is underway.
Tunnelling will happen around the clock to build the twin tunnels that will be 2.8 and four kilometres in length.
Over 3,500 people are currently working on the project with most of the major work sites established.
The West Gate Tunnel will cut travel times from the west by up to 20 mins with the tunnels connecting the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and Citylink.
In the 18 months since work started on the West Gate Tunnel 6.3 million work hours have been clocked up on the project.
Construction of the West Gate Tunnel will be finished in 2022.