Sinkhole brings Forrestfield Airport link project to standstill
WORK has stopped indefinitely on excavation of the train tunnels in the new Forrestfield Airport link after a sinkhole brought the project to a standstill yesterday.
Engineers and workers were aware they had a serious problem hours before a sinkhole started to appear alongside Dundas road in Forrestfield on Sunday.
By the time the problem was noticed, ground water had started flooding one of the two train tunnels and a cross passageway that joins them.
It's not the first time work has been stopped on the Forrestfield Airport link because of ground movement but this is the most serious and the government can't say when work will return to normal.
Transport minister Rita Saffioti said she was hopeful the problem would be resolved ‘in the very near future.
“The State Government is monitoring this very closely and working with Salini-Impregilo – NRW Joint Venture,” she said.
“My number one priority is to ensure work is carried out safely.
“I have asked the Public Transport Authority to review the timeline of the project, to ensure worker safety is paramount.
“In addition, there will be a review into the method used to create future cross passages and surveys are now being undertaken of the ground and the two tunnels in the vicinity of this particular cross passage.”
Engineers are pumping water from the tunnel and the cross passage but haven't been able to stop more water getting in.
The construction union official Graham Pallott said the sinkhole had raised more safety questions about the project after two workers were seriously injured in separate accidents.