New home for Melbourne tunnel boring machines

Heavy lifting and transport company Mammoet has successfully completed the relocation of two tunnel boring machines and their components as part of the construction of a new metro tunnel in Melbourne, Australia. All operations were executed according to the customer’s timelines and given space limitations with precision engineering.

The machines, weighing 660t each, were lowered into the site of the Metro Tunnel Project’s new Anzac Station 20 metres below street level, then relocated to their launch position underground. Transportation of the two tunnel boring machines took approximately three days and three nights each.

Mammoet firstly lifted each machine off the underground station floor using six 300t hydraulic jacks so that the 14 axle lines of SPMT in 4-file configuration could be positioned beneath it. After which the machines were transported slowly and carefully to the launch ramp where hydraulic jacks lifted each from the SPMTs.

Subsequently, the machines were jacked-down onto Mammoet’s 600t heavy-duty hydraulic push-pull skid system before being skidded forward to their final positioning location. Mammoet further assisted the client by moving and positioning a 57t thrust frame and 60t gantry, which were components of each tunnel boring machine.

Major works is about to start at the busy Mt Wellington interchange on Auckland’s Southern Motorway will reduce traffic congestion by improving access to the southbound motorway on-ramp.

There will be changes to the road layout on the Mt Wellington Highway over the motorway to create a second right turn lane on to the southbound on-ramp.

“The second lane will reduce the number of vehicles queueing along the local road and improve the flow of traffic on to the motorway,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Auckland system manager Andrea Williamson.

“To create space for the second lane and improve the turning space, the road will be widened and the size of the existing traffic island will be reduced. There will be drainage and footpath improvements along with an upgrade of the traffic signals, lighting and signage.”

The intersection improvements will also benefit larger freight movers negotiating the right hand turn.

“By working at night we can minimise disruption for daytime motorists and freight movers. We know this is a busy interchange and we thank people for their patience and understanding while we make improvements that will benefit all road users,” says Williamson.

During the night works there will be a reduced speed limit through the interchange and traffic management around the work area. The normal operation of the interchange and its permanent speed limit will be restored for daytime use at the end of each work night.

“Safety is our priority, so we ask all motorists to keep to the speed limit and watch out for our crews on the road. We want everyone to go home safely at the end of the shift.”