Water continues to flow into train tunnel in Forrestfield

One of the tunnel boring machines being used in the project.
One of the tunnel boring machines being used in the project.

TUNNEL boring machines remain on hold as water continues to flow into one of the train tunnels being excavated as part of the Forrestfield Airport Link.

This morning Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said she could not say when work would resume and there were genuine concerns the 2020 timeline for the project could be delayed.

“The water flows have reduced significantly so work is continuing to try and stop the water flow altogether, then to stabilise the area and move forward with the project,” she said.

“I have asked the Public Transport Authority to review the timeline of the project, to ensure worker safety is paramount.

“In addition, there will be a review into the method used to create future cross passages and surveys are now being undertaken of the ground and the two tunnels in the vicinity of this particular cross passage.

“This does have implications for how the TBM will be able to move forward, in particular Grace.”

On Saturday afternoon, the leak occurred in tunnel one (TBM Grace tunnel) approximately 200m north of Forrestfield Station.

The leak occurred around an emergency cross passage adjacent to Dundas Road, which led to the formation of a sinkhole early on Sunday morning and closure of the road.

A cross passage is a throughway to connect the two tunnels to be used as an emergency exit once the rail line is operational.

The leak has caused 10 tunnel rings near the point of the cross passage to move prompting additional internal bracing to be put on place as work continues to stop the leak and resolve the sinkhole damage.

Dundas Road in Forrestfield remains closed.

Ms Saffioti said the State Government was monitoring the situation very closely and working with Salini-Impregilo – NRW Joint Venture.