Engineers Australia

Tunnels on the Swan Coastal Plain, Perth

Trevor Osborne

Abstract

Much of the city of Perth and surrounding suburbs is situated on an alluvial/aeolian plain and as such is underlain by variable unconsolidated formations. These ground conditions do not give rise to frequent application of tunneling, particularly when ground water is close to the surface. Notwithstanding there have been some tunneling projects completed over the years since white settlement. Most frequent applications have been for services installations, however there are instances of tunnel construction for man and vehicle access. This paper looks at the history of tunneling in Perth and examines the methods applied. It also takes a look forward to the challenges of the future as Perth moves towards underground rail systems.