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Metro Tunnel

06 May 2020

Metro Tunnel Image

Third tunnel boring machine launched

Another exciting milestone has been achieved on the Metro Tunnel Project with the launch of tunnel boring machine (TBM) Millie from the site of the new ANZAC Station.

TBM Millie – named after Victoria’s first female MP, Millie Peacock – is digging the first 1.7km tunnel between ANZAC Station and the Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance at South Yarra.

TBM Alice, named after wartime medical hero Alice Appleford, is due to begin work on a parallel tunnel from the St Kilda Rd site in coming weeks.

Once both TBMs arrive at the eastern tunnel entrance later this year, the larger components including the cutterheads and shields will be dismantled and trucked back to ANZAC Station.

TBMs Millie and Alice will then be reassembled from inside the ANZAC Station box and relaunched towards the CBD.

Elsewhere on site, construction of ANZAC Station’s first entrance is also underway near the Shrine of Remembrance.

The yellow bentonite plant that was installed as part of diaphragm wall construction has been decommissioned and removed from the site, with the team now removing the concrete slab before excavating the area.

TBM blessing

Construction is continuing across all Metro Tunnel Project sites, with many significant milestones being achieved.

While we continue to build the twin tunnels and five new stations, strict protocols are in place to protect the health and safety of construction workers and the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Construction activities have been modified to adhere to social distancing requirements, where workers maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres from other people.

This included the recent blessing ceremonies held at ANZAC Station before TBM Millie was launched.

A local parish priest conducted a traditional ceremony to bless a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnelling, before it was placed in her custom-made housing to watch over the TBM crews. The blessing of the St Barbara statue is a long-standing tunnelling tradition.

Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Ron Jones also conducted a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony to bless TBM Millie and the team. Since major construction started in 2018, indigenous smoking ceremonies have been held at all Metro Tunnel sites before work starts.

The strict health and safety protocols in place across the project help to protect our construction workers and the community and enable our sites to remain operational •

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