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Metro Tunnel

Digger to start excavating State Library Station deep below CBD

A massive roadheader machine will begin creating the huge underground cavern for the new State Library Station deep beneath Melbourne’s CBD this week.

The 118-tonne, 15-metre long machine has been lowered almost 30 metres underground in pieces before being re-assembled ahead of digging commencing this week.

Roadheaders are massive excavating machines fitted with a mounted cutter head that will mine out the caverns for both Metro Tunnel CBD stations- State Library and Town Hall. A total of six road headers will be used in the CBD as part of the project- three for each station.

The first State Library roadheader will start mining out of the A’Beckett Street shaft towards Swanston Street.

From mid-next year, a second roadheader will start its journey from the A’Beckett Street shaft towards La Trobe Street, and a third from Franklin Street east towards A’Beckett Street, as the three machines work together to form State Library Station. The station will be 240 metres long and 30 metres wide, with platforms about 36 metres underground.

The equivalent of almost 70 Olympic swimming pools of rock and soil will be excavated by the roadheaders during the construction of State Library Station, which will be located directly beneath Swanston Street, between La Trobe Street and Franklin Street.

The machines will excavate around 1500 tonnes of rock each day, with the cutter head able to smash through rock three times harder than concrete. Each roadheader includes a highly advanced computer with a mathematically-based guidance system used to accurately excavate the cavern.

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