One of Brisbane’s biggest transport infrastructure projects has taken another major step towards completion.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk was on site at the Legacy Way tunnel, to welcome and inspect a giant tunnel boring machine called “Annabell”.

Cameron Robinson reports.


It took two semi-trailers to push and pull the machine’s 180 tonne, 12 metre wide circular cutter from its previous base at Hemmant.

Now Annabell is at her new home in Toowong and the project’s closer to beginning tunneling.

Graham Quirk, Brisbane Lord Mayor: “This is another milestone today. We have had some very large, oversize semi-trailers bringing parts of Annabell, the first of the tunnel boring machines to this site.”

Named after the daughter of an Australian Lance Corporal killed in Afghanistan. Annabell’s job is to bore one half of the 4.6 kilometre long tunnel connecting the Western Freeway near Mount Coot-tha with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.

Over several weeks, the huge machines will be transported in sections late at night along the Gateway, Logan, and Centenary motorways to ensure safety for motorists.

Each machine will require 90 trucks to deliver, and assembly is expected to take several months. The Lord Mayor predicts it will be August before it is up and running, which is a couple of months behind schedule.

Though he says the setback won’t impact on the project’s completion.

Graham Quirk, Brisbane Lord Mayor: “The tunnel boring machines will be a little later than what we had originally planned, but the completion date in terms of the start of the project will again be 2015 as we’d projected earlier.”

In the coming months, Annabell will be joined by Joyce, another tunnel boring machine.

Cameron Robinson, QUT News.