TBMs nearly ready to dig Victoria's longest road tunnels

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The 2 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will dig the North East Link road tunnels are a step closer to starting digging.

The TBM cutterheads have been lowered into place in Watsonia - one of the last major pieces to be assembled for the TBMs before they can be launched. The huge purple cutterhead will be front-and-centre when tunnelling starts - the first part that cuts into the rock. Next, the TBMs will be tested and commissioned before they start digging south towards Bulleen.

When fully assembled, the massive TBMs will be 90m long, 15.6m wide and more than 4000 tonnes – among the biggest in the southern hemisphere.

The TBMs will move at approximately 10m per day and up to 45m below ground.

Tunnelling will go well into 2026, ahead of the tunnels opening to traffic in 2028.

North East Link’s twin 3-lane road tunnels will connect the M80 Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway. At 6.5km long – twice the length of the Burnley tunnel – they’re set to be the longest road tunnels in Victoria.

North East Link