Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Vida is now on her way digging the 2.8km inbound tunnel for the West Gate Tunnel Project.
Vida’s journey will take 12 months, with the tunnel meeting up with the West Gate Freeway just west of Williamstown Road.
Vida’s sister TBM, named Bella, started work on the 4km outbound tunnel early last month.
Bella and Vida are the largest TBMs in the Southern Hemisphere - each measuring 15.6m in diameter and 90m long and weighing 4000 tonnes each, which is about the same as 20 Boeing 747 airplanes.
Equipped with a state-of-the-art computerised navigation system, Bella and Vida will dig an average of 9m per day. They have been specifically chosen for their ability to work deep underground with almost no disturbance above ground for traffic, businesses and residents.
The TBMs are being piloted by a highly trained specialist crew who will work around the clock while the twin tunnels are being built.
The best local and international talent have been recruited to build the West Gate Tunnels, including a diverse team of experts in hydraulics, mechanical engineering, tunnelling systems and electrical.
How the tunnels are built
As the TBMs bore through the earth, they progressively install the segments which form the massive concrete rings of the structural lining of the tunnel.
Multiple crews of workers will follow the TBMs, building the road surface and installing electrics, ventilation and safety systems.
The West Gate Tunnel Project will be complete by late 2025.