Construction of the 4.6km twin tunnel broke world tunnelling records and received international awards for innovation and environmental stewardship

ACCIONA, a global provider of infrastructure, renewable energy and water services, has welcomed the official opening of Brisbane City Council’s Legacy Way Tunnel. ACCIONA led the joint venture, alongside BMD Constructions and Italian company Ghella, to build the $1.5 billion Legacy Way Project which won the 2013 international tunnel project of the year award.

The Legacy Way Tunnel is the largest piece of infrastructure built by a local government anywhere in Australia and its completion marks a major milestone for the Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy group, which has invested more than $650m in its Australian operations since 2002.

The 4.6 kilometre tunnel links the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass (ICB) at Kelvin Grove and will reduce, by up to half, the peak hour travel times of journeys from the Centenary Bridge to the ICB.

Construction started in April 2011 and by June 2013, ACCIONA had completed the tunnelling four month ahead of schedule; setting new industry benchmarks through their expertise in improving productivity and solving complex logistics management issues. All of the material for disposal was conveyed directly to the quarry and ACCIONA also pumped in all of the grout from outside; in both instances this removed trucks off of the streets, which not only minimised the impacts of the project on the local community but also provided the opportunity to go quicker with the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).

Legacy Way has an award-winning design and is a world-class piece of infrastructure for the city,” said Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

“In total, the Legacy Way project has attracted eight different awards, including for its ground-breaking tunnelling technique and community engagement.”

The joint venture recently won the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia “Project of the Year 2015” award for “changing Australia’s approach to tunnelling projects”. ACCIONA Project Manager, Jose Antonio Sanchez said, “ACCIONA’s innovative construction methodologies, such as the use of a conveyor tunnel to carry the tunnelling spoil, not only saved time, ensured we came in on budget, but also produced sustainable outcomes, removing the need for 96,000 haulage truck trips (equal to 36000 haulage trucks), from Brisbane roads.


“The record rate of excavation is a credit to our global expertise, hard work and commitment to successfully delivering this project,” finished Mr. Sanchez. Highlights of the Brisbane Legacy Way project;

  • Achieved a WORLD RECORD excavating 48m in one day, 239.9m in one week, and 818.89m in one month (30 day);
  • ACCIONA finished the first tunnel excavation in six and a half months which is a world record. That was because of the change they made in the TBMs as well as the change and management for the entire logistics process;
  • ACCIONA was awarded the Lord Mayors 2012 Award for Business Innovation;
  • The joint venture was the WINNER of the MAJOR TUNNELLING PROJECT OF THE YEAR award for Legacy Way at the 2013 International Tunnelling Awards;
  • The joint venture won the 2015 IPA Project of the year;
  • The joint venture won the 2014 International road federation, award for environmental excellence; and
  • The project came in on budget.