Record for Legacy Way tunnel as tunnelling machine breaks through at Kelvin Grove

A world record was set this afternoon when the first of Legacy Way’s two tunnelling machines broke through five months ahead of schedule to the cheers of workers.

The tunnelling machine, named Joyce, broke through at Kelvin Grove, completing its journey from Toowong that began just six months ago.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the tunnelling set a world record for speed and gave the project a “kick start” to be completed on schedule.

“To do 4.6km of tunnelling in six months is a world record, and she also broke the one day record of some 49.7m in one job,” he said.

Half of Brisbane’s next tollway, the Legacy Way tunnel, will be completed tomorrow morning when borers break through on the northbound lanes, five months ahead of schedule.

The machine has drilled out more than 500,000 cubic metres of rock, dirt and debris, enough to fill around 200 olympic swimming pools.

The $1.5 billion infrastructure project will be completed by mid-2015, providing motorists with a four-minute fast track from Toowong to Kelvin Grove.

Cr Quirk said he had “no concerns whatsoever” that the speedy completion of the tunnel had jeopardised safety, and paid tribute to the construction companies and the employees who had undertaken work on the project.

“Really, the day belongs to them,” he said.

Cr Quirk was joined by federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, who also paid tribute to the workers and said the early completion of the tunnel was a “great credit” to them.

“This is really a tribute to the engineering skills of the companies involved and of the workforce who’ve been able to deliver this,” he said.
Anthony Gough