Tunnel boring machine about to bite into pipeline project

Date published: 16 January 2019

A crucial piece of specialised machinery required to complete the Queensland Government-funded Townsville water pipeline is making its way to the city.

The tunnel boring machine is expected to arrive within weeks, and will be used to excavate under the Flinders Highway and Mt Isa to Townsville Rail Line.

The tunnel will be reinforced with concrete structures that the 1.8-metre diameter pipeline will be secured in.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the machine was needed to dig the tunnel to enable the pipes to be installed underneath both the highway and rail line.

“The new water pipeline is Council’s top infrastructure priority and the project is progressing rapidly,” Cr Hill said.

“This specialised equipment will be put into use within weeks as work on the pipeline continues to ramp up.”

Cr Hill said the specialist tunnel boring being done by DJ MacCormick was being supported by local supplier Humes, supporting jobs in Townsville.

“This part of the project will require a lot of skill and technical expertise to do the job without causing any inconvenience to motorists or freight,” Cr Hill said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said it was fantastic to see construction of the pipeline ramping up in 2019 and that it was important to maximise employment opportunities from the project for the Townsville community.

“This Government is committed to ensuring water security for Townsville for decades to come and that is why we have committed $225 million dollars towards Townsville’s water security,” Mr Stewart said.

“Building the pipeline is essential but so is building the Townsville community – it’s great to see a push for local involvement and employment which will almost certainly have positive impacts for the Townsville community and economy.”

Cr Hill said Council is totally committed to delivering its 3-point water security solution.

“We all know praying for rain is no strategy for long-term water security and that’s why we are totally focused on completing Stage 1 of the pipeline by the end of December,” Cr Hill said.

“The pipeline will play a crucial role in securing our city’s future water supply and creating hundreds of jobs now to help support our city’s economic recovery.”

Council’s 3-point water security solution includes:

  1. The new 1.8-metre diameter pipeline
  2. A recycled water reuse scheme for public open spaces and industrial use
  3. Water Smart Package

The Queensland Government has invested $225 million to improve water security in Townsville.