Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- By any stretch of the imagination the rapid and trouble-free progress made on the 4.6km twin bore Legacy Way highway tunnel in Brisbane, Australia, has been remarkable.
Inside the western tunnel, with backfilling complete
- It is a triumph for the Transcity JV that won the Aust$1.5 billion design construct operate maintain contract from project owner Brisbane City Council back in September 2010. The international team comprises Acciona (Spain), Ghella (Italy) and BMD Constructions (Australia) - and the project's many successes are particularly pleasing for the team's specialist tunnel contractor, Ghella.
- TBM excavation was completed, using a refurbished machine from the CLEM7 drives, at record-setting pace and only last week the project took the prestigious ITA Tunnel Project of the Year in London in the over $500 million category. Brisbane City Council expects the tunnels will officially open in mid-2015, more than six months ahead of schedule, and to make the achievement even more satisfying a number of important project elements contributed towards its overall environmental sustainability.
- Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk said: "We take great pride in the world class construction being delivered on Legacy Way, which is a credit to the work being undertaken by Transcity. We chose Transcity's bid because of its outstanding value for money for Brisbane's ratepayers by combining international experience with innovative design, resulting in strong community outcomes."
Waiting to board the bus for first drive through. From left to right: Matteo Ortu (Tunnel Manager, Ghella), Rayna Mishra (Community Relations Officer), Jeff Young (General Superintendant)
- Last week industry representatives were given a close-up sneak preview of the project in the form of a special drive through ceremony. "The team is extremely proud of the successes on Legacy Way to date, where we have set new industry benchmarks and broken world records for TBM tunnel excavation," said Transcity Project Director Fernando Fajardo. "We are very proud of Transcity's achievements in delivering Legacy Way with many innovations in safety, design and construction since construction began in 2011."
- "The drive through provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate these successes to the construction industry and highlight the next stage of the project as we move from backfilling activities to mechanical and electricial tunnel fit out."
- Transcity Tunnelling Manager Matteo Ortu, of Ghella, said: "The drive through was made possible due to the recent completion of another project milestone, the backfilling of the twin tunnels."
- "Material previously removed during TBM excavation and transported to Mount Coot-tha Quarry by an underground conveyor, was used to build the tunnel road base. By reversing the conveyor the material was brought back into the tunnels in an operation that saved 7,500 truck movements from the local road network."
Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk congratulates Transcity team on its ITA award for Major Tunnel Project of the Year. From left to right: Graham Quirk, Fernando Fajardo (Transcity Project Director), Mick Power (MD, BMD Constructions), Giuseppe Benassi (Area Manager, Australia Ghella)
- Drill+blast excavation of the conveyor tunnel was completed before TBM excavation of the main highway tunnels began. Backfilling of the main tunnel enables the final asphalt surface to be laid, though this will not be completed until shortly before the tunnels open in 2015. All cross passages are now complete as work begins on mechanical and electrical fit out.
- Once complete Legacy Way will complete a link between the Inner City Bypass and the Western Freeway, cutting journey times in half. The project is part of TransApex, a series of major highway projects designed to improve traffic flow in and around Brisbane, which includes the CLEM7 tunnel under the Brisbane River (complete), the Airport Link (complete), and the East-West Link. Under the terms of its contract Transcity was set a four year construction target by the tunnel owner, Brisbane City Council, after which it will operate and maintain the tolled infrastructure for a further 10 years. The Federal Government provided $500 million worth of funding, while the council secured approval from the regional Queensland Government to borrow the balance of funds required to construct Legacy Way.
Planning for sustainability in the underground - TunnelTalk, December 2013
ITA prizes for international tunnelling achievements - TunnelTalk, November 2013
Brisbane Northern Link (Legacy Way) award - TunnelTalk, September 2010
Rebuilt TBMs launch on Brisbane traffic tunnel - TunnelTalk, August 2012
Rapid excavation breaks through in Brisbane - TunnelTalk, April 2013
Brisbane road tunnels celebrate milestones - TunnelTalk, December 2009
Australia suffers toll concession failures - TunnelTalk, July 2013
Buried end for Airport Link TBMs - TunnelTalk, January 2011
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