Tunnelling has finished on the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, after twin railway tunnels were completed under Sydney Harbour in a history-making project.
Mega boring machine Kathleen has arrived north of the harbour, where she broke through a wall of sandstone in a spectacular arrival.
Tunnel Boring Machine Kathleen dug two 885m tunnels from Barangaroo to Blues Point.
It took two months to build the second tunnel – one month faster than the first, due to lessons learned like modifying the giant cutter head and changing tunnelling processes to better deal with the clay material at the bottom of the harbour.
The five TBMs on this project have delivered 31km of fully lined tunnels in 17 months.
TBM Kathleen dug through about 175,000 tonnes of sandstone, clay and marine sediments to build both harbour tunnels, which are about 40m below sea level at their deepest point.
Kathleen and her crew of 50 have delivered a world-class piece of infrastructure almost a century after her namesake helped build the Sydney Harbour Bridge above them.
The specialised TBM is named after Kathleen Butler, who played a vital role in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the technical advisor to legendary engineer John JC Bradfield.