The West Gate Tunnel Project recently celebrated its first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) having excavated 1 kilometre of the 4-kilometre westbound tunnel. 

    With the TBM a quarter of the way through its journey towards the West Gate Freeway, tunnelling is progressing well to build the twin tunnels underneath Yarraville. 

    Meanwhile, the second TBM is also making great progress on its journey since launching in April, with the 2.8 kilometre tunnel also coming together. 

    The TBMs, named Bella and Vida, are the biggest of their kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest TBMs to ever be used in Australia standing at 15.6 metres in diameter – as tall as a five-storey building – and 90 metres long. 

    When they’re done, Bella and Vida will have bored around-the-clock and through 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil to dig a critical part of Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.  

    While the TBM’s bore through the earth, a mobile factory within it installs a concrete lining – forming the walls, roof and base of the tunnel. Behind the TBM, highly specialised crews work to build the road surface and install electrics, ventilation and safety systems.  

    On the surface, works are continuing to prepare the southern portals for the TBMs to breakthrough from next year.  

    The West Gate Tunnel Project is so much more than the tunnels, with works progressing across all areas of the project, including widening the West Gate Freeway, building the elevated Footscray Road and preparing to construct new bridges across the Maribyrnong River. 

    With noise wall installation set to be complete this year, communities along the West Gate Freeway are already enjoying quieter homes, recreational areas and neighbourhoods.  

    Stay up-to-date with the West Gate Tunnel Project by following the Facebook page, Instagram or visit  


    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #98 July 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles