Busway vision tunnels ahead

The tunneling is done, now the road works begin on Australia's largest airport link and busway infrastructure project

Busway vision tunnels ahead
Busway vision tunnels ahead

May 13, 2011

Tunneling on Australia's largest infrastructure project is another step closer to completion with the final roadheader on the project being removed from Brisbane’s Airport Link worksite.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser says over 10 kilometres of tunneling was now complete on the Airport Link and Northern Busway – Windsor to Kedron – projects.

"Since tunneling commenced at Truro Street in March 2009, a total of 17 roadheaders have been used to carve out the network of tunnels below Brisbane's northside," Fraser says.

"This is the largest number of roadheaders ever used on an Australian project."

The 135 tonne machines have worked in conjunction with the two massive Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), which are now nearly 70 percent through the 2.5 kilometre stretch from Kalinga Park to Lutwyche.

Fraser says construction was progressing steadily, with project employment reaching a peak of 4,200 people.

"Last month alone, over one million hours was worked and a total of 17.8 million hours have been worked since the first sod was turned in November 2008," he says.

Thiess John Holland Project Director Gordon Ralph says another sign of project progress was the start of the demobilisation of the Truro Street spoil shed this month.

"Truro Street's spoil shed was one of the first pieces of temporary infrastructure to be installed on the project in January 2009," he says.

"The shed which is eight metres high will be progressively dismantled, with the eastern site office buildings to be relocated to enable the shed to be removed."

BrisConnections CEO Dr Ray Wilson says 77 percent of the projects were complete with over $3.2 billion spent.

When it opens in mid 2012 Airport Link will be the first major motorway connecting Brisbane city with the airport and northern suburbs.

It will improve travel times with six new lanes for drivers between Bowen Hills and Kedron and four new lanes between Kedron and Toombul.

By 2016, the Northern Busway will cater for 47,000 trips a day – more than five times than current bus operations.

By 2026 it will cater for a bus every 20 seconds.

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