Salini achieves milestone with TBM breakthroughs at Perth rail project


Salini Impregilo has achieved a milestone on the AUD1.86bn ($1.39bn) Forrestfield-Airport Link project in Perth, Australia, with the breakthroughs of two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) at the site of the Airport Central Station.

Salini Impregilo has recently made it to the shortlist for the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link, part of WestConnex – the biggest road development in Australia at AUD16.8bn ($12.6bn) that will improve and expand the transport network in Sydney.

Salini Impregilo and its joint venture partner NRW will deliver the Forrestfield-Airport Link – an underground rail line that will connect Perth’s eastern suburbs with the city centre – providing economic and environmental benefits. The line will have three stations, one of them at Airport Central.

TBM Sandy arrived at the site of the future station about 17 metres below ground, following TBM Grace. Both machines are a quarter of the way to their destination at Bayswater, after travelling nearly 2km since they left Forrestfield in late 2017.

Both TBMs will undergo a month’s servicing before resuming their journey. TBM Grace will be the first, and TBM Sandy will follow two weeks later.

In a statement, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “These breakthroughs are an exciting milestone. The station construction workers and machine operators are to be congratulated.”

Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti in the statement: “It is a visible sign of great progress on the project.”

Forrestfield-Airport Link, the biggest rail project in the state of Western Australia in more than a decade, is an important component of the state government’s METRONET vision to create liveable communities connected by world-class public transport.

The 8.5km line, of which 8km will be underground, will enable residents in the eastern suburbs to travel in 20 minutes to the Central Business District compared to 45 minutes by car, helping reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Nearly 2,000 jobs are expected to be created over the course of the project.

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