Work On Forrestfield-Airport Rail Link Halted By Leak And Sinkhole

Work On Forrestfield-Airport Rail Link Halted By Leak And Sinkhole

Western Australia Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti

Work Underway To Resolve Leak On Forrestfield-Airport Rail Link Project

Victor P Taffa

  • Tunnel boring machines on hold while work underway to stop leak near Dundas Road
  • Leak was the result of activity from the creation of a tunnel cross passage
  • Minister requests review of construction timeline

On Saturday afternoon, a small leak occurred in Tunnel 1 (TBM Grace tunnel) of the Forrestfield-Airport Link project, approximately 200 m north of Forrestfield Station.

Leak occurred around a cross passage adjacent to Dundas Road, which led to the formation of a sinkhole early on Sunday morning and closure of the road. A cross passage is a throughway to connect the 2 tunnels and will be used as an emergency exit once the railway line is operational.

“State Government is monitoring this very closely and working with Salini-Impregilo – NRW Joint Venture. We are hopeful a resolution can be found in the very near future.” Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said.

“My number one priority is to ensure work is carried out safely.”

Tunnel boring machines have now stopped as a precautionary measure and work is continuing to stop ground water from leaking into tunnel one.

While that work is ongoing, a survey of the ground along Dundas Road and tunnel connecting to the cross passage is also underway.

Due to the leak there has been some movement of approximately 10 tunnel rings near the point of the cross passage. Additional internal bracing is now in place as work continues to stop the leak and resolve the sinkhole damage.

“I have asked the Public Transport Authority to review the timeline of the project, to ensure worker safety is paramount.” Minister Saffioti said.

“In addition, there will be a review into the method used to create future cross passages and surveys are now being undertaken of the ground and the two tunnels in the vicinity of this particular cross passage.”

TBM Grace is currently about 3 km ahead of this cross passage site and TBM Sandy is located about 2.5 km ahead of the site.