Milan, May 28, 2018 – Salini Impregilo has completed a major milestone on the AUD$1.86-billion ($1.39 billion) Forrestfield-Airport Link project in Perth, Australia, with the successive breakthroughs of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) at the site of the Airport Central Station.
Australia is an increasingly important market for Salini Impregilo, which recently entered the shortlist for the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link, part of WestConnex, the biggest road development in the country at AUD$16.8 billion ($12.6 billion) that will improve and expand the transport network in Sydney.
The Forrestfield-Airport Link, being delivered by Salini Impregilo and its joint-venture partner NRW, is an underground rail line that will connect Perth’s eastern suburbs with the city centre, providing economic as well as environmental benefits. The line will have three stations, one of them at Airport Central.
TBM Sandy arrived at the site of the future Airport Central Station about 17 metres below ground, following TBM Grace. The two TBMs are now a quarter of the way to their destination at Bayswater, after travelling nearly two kilometres since they departed from Forrestfield in late 2017. Both of the TBMs will undergo a month’s servicing before renewing their journey. TBM Grace will be the first, followed by TBM Sandy two weeks later.
"These breakthroughs are an exciting milestone,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement after visiting the site on May 21. “The station construction workers and machine operators are to be congratulated.” “It is a visible sign of great progress on the project,” said Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti in the statement.
As the biggest rail project to occur in the state of Western Australia in more than a decade, the Forrestfield-Airport Link is a key component of the state government’s METRONET vision to create livable communities connected by world-class public transport. The 8.5-kilometre line, of which 8.0 kilometres will be underground, will enable residents in the eastern suburbs to travel in 20 minutes to the Central Business District versus 45 minutes by car, helping reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. It will create about 2,000 jobs over the course of the project.
Perth is the country’s fourth largest city and the new rail line will allow it to meet the needs of its growing population, which is predicted to rise from two million to 3.2 million by 2030. By offering an alternative transport solution it is anticipated the project will play a key role in reducing congestion on Perth’s roads where traffic congestion is already a major problem. By 2031, the Forrestfield-Airport Link will be serving 29,000 passenger trips every day, equivalent to a range of 9,000 to 15,000 vehicles less on the road every day, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 emitted by vehicles. The Link will also help businesses in the eastern suburbs.
In a country where the government is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure, Salini Impregilo is playing an important role in the transport infrastructure sector where it is also involved in a prominent part of the Sydney Metro Northwest that will link the city centre with neighbourhoods in the outskirts.