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Selection of Primary Support in the EastLink Tunnels


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Author A Bennett, P Campi and M Dodds


The EastLink project is a 39 km tollway to the east of
Melbourne and includes twin three-lane 1.5 km driven tunnels. The hard rock
tunnels are being built to avoid passing the motorway through the Mullum Mullum
Valley to help preserve the unique flora and fauna in the area. This paper
describes the process of transferring the support requirements from the ‘drawing
board’ to the tunnelling face by integrating the temporary support design with
the contractor’s tunnel excavation and support procedures, including sharing of
responsibility between the designer and contractor for selection of the support
type and the production of a project specific rock mass classification system to
enable more objective determination of ground conditions. The methods developed
during the design phase incorporated a formal system of reviews, support
selection and feedback by monitoring tunnel and ground responses. During
construction, the process was implemented using a set of simple documentation
and regular structured communication between the contractor and the