Cross passage excavation starting

As part of tunnel excavation, the Cross River Rail Tunnel & Stations contractor will soon start cross passage excavation in the tunnels between the Woolloongabba site and the Northern Tunnel Portal.

Work on the twin tunnels from Woolloongabba to the Northern Tunnel Portal as part of Cross River Rail is underway. As part of this work, cross passage excavation will be undertaken from mid-May 2021 to late 2021.

Cross passages are regularly spaced passages between tunnels to provide emergency access underground in the operational rail tunnel. The permanent passages connect the two tunnels and are located every 240 metres along the tunnel alignment. They allow people to move from one tunnel to the other in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Cross passages are constructed after the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) have tunnelled through an area.

There are 16 permanent cross passages along the tunnel route. Temporary passages will also be built to facilitate in-tunnel access during construction. Each cross passage is approximately 5.8 metres wide, 5.8 metres high and 6 metres long.

See the ‘Cross Passage’ fact sheet page for more information on cross passage excavation in your area.

What to expect

Underground excavation work on the cross passages will be undertaken 24 hours, 7 days a week. It will take up to four weeks to complete, ground conditions permitting.

Cross passage excavation is a safe construction technique and is unlikely to cause damage to your property. Pre-construction building condition surveys have been completed for properties owners located within 30 metres of the tunnel alignment. During this underground construction work, property owners above and close by the tunnel alignment may experience some noise and vibration.

Cross Passage excavation will involve:

  • Installing rock anchor supports on both sides of the two tunnels, including steel work, drilling and saw cutting
  • Excavating the cross passage using a rock hammer or drill and blast method, depending on feasibility
  • Installing steel mesh, concrete and a waterproof concrete lining in the cross passages and surrounding area.

    Project information

    If you would like more information or have questions, please contact the Tunnel & Stations Community Relations team as per the below contact details:

    • You can subscribe to receive SMS and email updates by providing your name and address to 0419 679 314.

    If you want to know more, all of this information is available in PDF form: