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Legacy Way Tunnel

A World Record for Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Performance was broken during construction, excavating 49.7 metres in one day, beating the previous record by 13.7 metres.

Fernando Fajardo, ACCIONA Infrastructure Managing Director, led as Legacy Way's Project Director. In conjunction with joint venture partners BMD Constructions and Ghella, ACCIONA is responsible for constructing the landmark project, which is a key initiative of Brisbane City Council's Transport Master Plan, "Transport for Brisbane."

Legacy Way is the 4.6km road tunnel that will connect the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove. The project design minimises impacts on motorists, public transport services and active transport users, private vehicles and pedestrians in the area. It also integrates the project into the city, with urban designs aimed at preserving and enhancing the importance of adjacent areas, including the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

General information

Brisbane, Australia
4.6 km rod tunnel using two tunnel boring machines, each more than 100m in length and featured a 12.4m circular rotating cutter head
Completion date
Operation and Maintenance
Project Value
AU$ 1.5 billion

Key Features

Construction required two tunnel boring machines, each more than 100m in length and featured a 12.4m circular rotating cutter head. Over 1 million cubic metres of spoil (rock and dirt) was removed from the tunnel via an 850 metre underground common conveyor belt to nearby Mount Coot-tha quarry which eliminated the use of 96,000 haulage trucks and their associated emissions.

This, combine with a number of other innovative approaches to tunnelling enabled Transcity JV to achieve a world record on the most distance bored in one day - 49.7 metres.  During construction, more than 1,200 concrete piles were poured and 75,000 square metres of asphalt was laid in the 4.6km long tunnels. The project was completed on time and on budget, and received a number of state, national and international awards including:

    • 2015 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Project of the year
    • 2014 International Road Federation, award for Environmental Excellence
    • 2013 International Tunnelling Project of the year (>$500k)
    • 2012 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Award for Innovation


Legacy Way will provide a direct, high-speed link between the residential growth areas to the west of Brisbane, and the airport, in Brisbane’s east. Legacy Way is a vital component of Brisbane City Council’s TransApex transport plan, aimed at reducing inner-city congestion.


Operation and Maintenance

Following Legacy Way's open to traffic on 25th June 2015, ACCIONA as lead partner of the Transcity JV is now responsible for operations and maintenance of the tunnels for the coming 10 years. The tunnel operations are centralised in the control centre which is manned 24 hours per day. From the control centre, Transcity JV manages safety systems, such as ventilation and fire, as well as communication systems, electronic signage, CCTV and traffic cameras.

In the event of unexpected incidents a 24 hour Incident Response crew are on standby. Electronic signage is updated accordingly to advise drivers of unexpected delays or congestion. Maintenance of the 4.6km twin tunnels involves scheduled inspections, planned maintenance of plant and, when necessary, reactive maintenance.

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