A large tunnel borer has been launched in Brisbane’s west as part of a $17 million Queensland Urban Utilities pipeline project to cater for future population growth in the area.
The borer will travel under the Brisbane River from Kenmore to Jindalee, paving the way for two new pipes – one for water and the other for sewage.
Starting at Kingfisher Park in Kenmore, the borer will travel 560m, the length of around five football fields, before emerging on the other side of the river near the Jindalee Scout Hall.
The project also includes 2km of new sewer mains and 680m of new water mains on the Jindalee side of the river.
Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Sally Prosser, said the project was a feat of engineering with the tunnel borer grinding rock 10m below the river bed.
“The machine is so large, it needs to be craned into the launch shaft in four parts,” Ms Prosser said.
“Once assembled, it’s almost 14m long, 1.8m in diameter and weighs more than 45 tonnes – the equivalent of six elephants.
“The upgrade will help cater for population growth in the western suburbs and ensure the local water and sewerage network is resilient.”
Tunnelling is expected to take around nine weeks, with the whole project due to be completed by the end of 2017.