Logistics for transporting tunnel boring machines on the Cross River Rail Project have commenced in Brisbane.
The heavy haulage operation for the project was overseen by LCR Group, a Qube-owned company, in which major components of the boring machines began a journey across town where they will be assembled and used to dig out twin tunnels planned under the Brisbane River and central business district.
Hauling the boring machine head on a new 16 line modular trailer system in a push-pull combination using Volvo and Mack prime movers, the job reportedly took over six hours to complete for a total distance of 26 kilometres travelled.
Weighing around 220 tonnes with a total length of 66 metres, it’s the largest shipment LCR has ever moved by road.
The new 10.2 kilometre Cross River Rail Project, which aims to unlock a bottleneck at the centre of Brisbane’s transport network, will connect Dutton Park to Bowen Hills.
Months of planning have gone into transporting the 1350-tonne tunnel boring machines from Herrenknecht’s northside facility to Woolloongabba in preparation for launch.
The 165-metre long mega machines weigh the same as four Boeing 747s.
With the 216-tonne gripper shield and the 196-tonne front shield now safely on site, the remaining pieces are expected to be transported for assembly over the coming weeks in time for launch early next year.
It’s estimated that 40 truck deliveries will be required in total, with many of those requiring police escorts and spotters along the 25-kilometre route where the huge sections are planned to be moved in the middle of the night.
A second disassembled tunnel boring machine is scheduled to start arriving at the Woolloongabba site in sections early next year.
The tunnel boring machines are expected to cut through up to 30 metres of earth and rock each day.