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Salini Impregilo’s Richard Graham, Forrestfield MLA Stephen Price, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Premier Mark McGowan visited the Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnels.

The Sandy and Grace dig on track

THE Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnel is on track with both tunnel boring machines expected to break through at the Airport Central station in the coming months, according to the McGowan Government.

Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti  recently inspected the Forrestfield-Airport Link rail tunnels and walked the new 1km tunnel bored by tunnel boring machine Sandy.

Ms Saffioti said the tunnel boring machines Sandy and Grace had covered a combined length of 2.5km.

Grace started tunnelling last August and is travelling an average of 26m a day while Sandy started tunnelling in October and is one 1km into the second tunnel.

As the machines progress, 54,000 locally made concrete segments will be installed to line the 7m diameter tunnels, creating the tunnel walls.

More than 16,000 of the concrete segments have already been manufactured at a purpose-built facility near the project site in Forrestfield.

About 2000 jobs are expected to be created during the life of the project, including in the manufacturing and construction industries.

Mr McGowan said completing the Forrestfield-Airport Link was a key part of his government’s Metronet plan to connect Perth’s suburbs and ease congestion.

“Metronet will provide an innovative public transport system that will invigorate communities and create thousands of local WA jobs,’’ he said.

“We are committed to delivering on our election commitment to create more WA jobs and a rolling stock strategy to grow our state’s capacity to build Metronet railcars locally.”

Ms Saffioti said the Forrestfield-Airport Link would open up the Perth foothills, providing a new option for the community to access the CBD, Perth Airport and wider public transport network.

“The Metronet team has been planning land use opportunities around Forrestfield and Redcliffe station to create well-connected communities within the station precincts.

“The next major milestone will be when the first tunnel boring machines reaches Airport Central station in the next month or so.”

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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