The launch site has taken a year to complete and is about two times the length of an AFL oval, coming in at 300 metres long, 40 metres wide and 22 metres deep.

It’s from here that the 90 metre long TBMs will dig south west to build the twin tunnels to connect the West Gate Freeway to the port, city and CityLink - providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and taking 9000 trucks of residential streets.

Crews will now start lowering pieces of the first TBM to launch, Bella, into the ground using a gantry crane capable of lifting up to 500 tonnes.

After Bella has been completely assembled in the ground, parts of the second TBM Vida that will dig the shorter citybound tunnel, will be assembled above ground before being lowered into the launch site.

The launch site is lined with 20,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete to provide a stable site to launch the 4000 tonne machines.

Once tunnelling is complete, the launch site will become the future northern entry and exit to the West Gate Tunnel.

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A component of TBM Bella, which is going to dig the longer outbound tunnel.
A huge shed has been constructed at the northern portal, where a conveyer belt connected to the TBM will transport rock and soil.
Ground preparation for the TBM Bella works site.
Ground work underway in the northern portal.
The rock and soil will arrive inside the shed, where it will be trucked away.
The TBM’s will be lowered down by a gantry crane, to commence drilling.
This is one of two gantry cranes, that will be used to lift the TBM’s into the ground.