TBM breaks through at Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point

Commencing at Bowen Hills on the north side of the Brisbane River, the 4000-tonne machine, named Florence, yesterday completed the first 2.8km of tunnel after beginning the work in March. Florence will now complete the remaining 1.5km of tunnel to Woolloongabba.The project is being delivered on behalf of Brisbane City Council by Queensland toll road company RiverCity Motorway Group. The construction work is being carried out by Leighton Contractors and a joint venture between Baulderstone and Bilfinger Berger. “Today’s milestone is truly spectacular when you consider that this time last year Florence was in the early stages of being assembled onsite at Bowen Hills,” said RiverCity Motorway chief executive Flan Cleary.CLEM7, formerly known as the North-South Bypass Tunnel, was named after former Brisbane lord mayor Clem Jones, who was in office from 1961 to 1975.The journey from Bowen Hills to Kangaroo Point has taken Florence below Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds, dozens of busy city streets, office blocks and apartments, the Brunswick Railway Station, Brunswick Street Mall, Kemp Place Fire Station and the Story Bridge.As well as tunnelling 60m below the Brisbane River, the machine also travelled below several of the city’s famous watering holes, including the Jubilee Hotel, the Empire Hotel and most recently the Story Bridge Hotel.The second tunnel boring machine, Matilda, has completed 2.5km of tunnel and is expected to break through at Kangaroo Point in early 2009.In total, each TBM will complete 4.3km of tunnel. RiverCity said both machines remained on schedule to complete their journey to Woolloongabba by mid-2009.

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