Works are well under way at Heidelberg where the team have been tunnelling away at the new Darebin Street underpass. A special excavator called a Butor has been used, playfully nicknamed Boris by some of the tunnelling crew. Boris has made its way all the way from France and is being used for the first time in Australia. On average, it excavates approximately 40 cubic metres of rock daily, enough to fill a shipping container!
Meanwhile, another specialty machine, called an Akkerman, has been installing 36 metre long steel tubes on the south side of the Darebin Street underpass, which creates a canopy that stabilises the soil whilst the tunnelling takes place.
In exciting news, foundation works for the new Burgundy street rail bridge are making great progress, with the 41.3 metre long bridge deck to be lifted into place in early 2018. A new retaining wall is being constructed varying in size, from 2.5 to 9.3 metres high on the north side of Burgundy Street. On the south side the concrete retaining wall has been completed. This wall will support the additional set of tracks that are being constructed as a part of the project.
The efficiency and determination of the crew is a positive sign as the 44 day construction blitz approaches.