Source: The Daily Telegraph
IT will be the deepest and longest rail tunnel ever built in Australia – almost six times the length of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel – and it’s not a pipe dream.
The giant tunnel will be a key feature of the long-awaited North West Rail Link, part of a 15.5km series of underground railway lines to be excavated under Sydney suburbs.
Details of the biggest transport project in Sydney will be released officially today in the state government’s first environmental impact statement into the rail link.
The statement will detail the construction work involved, and impact it will have on the local community.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejikilan is touting the North West Rail Link as the biggest transport infrastructure project in a generation, and said it would use more steel than the Sydney Harbour Bridge in its construction. The line is expected to need up to 70,000 tonnes of steel, 20,000 tonnes more than the Bridge.
“The economic benefits of the North West Rail Link are immense – the new line will support more than 16,200 jobs during construction and inject about $25 billion into the NSW economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This project is just as important to the families and businesses of the northwest as the construction of the Harbour Bridge was to the people of the north shore in the 1920s and 1930s.”
Ms Berejiklian said residents most affected would be able to attend community consultations about how much noise and vibration construction would cause, how much related traffic they could expect, and what sort of construction methods would be used.
The project is expected to include:
* 15.5km tunnels between Epping and Bella Vista, the deepest and longest in Australia;
* 400,000 cubic metres of concrete – the equivalent of 200 Olympic swimming pools;
* FOUR tunnel boring machines used to build twin tunnels. The boring machines will travel about 120m a week; and
* MORE than 100 excavators, ranging from five to 70 tonnes.
The environmental impact statement will be on display until May 21.
A second statement will be released in the second part of the year, and will be about the design of the stations and operational elements like signalling systems. Construction is expected to begin by 2014.