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Breakthrough in major Belgian tunnel

Belgium’s biggest civils project passed a major milestone this week as boring on the first of two tunnel shafts for the Liefkenshoek rail link was completed.

The 6km twin tunnel runs under the port of Antwerp. Completion of the second bore is due next month.

Contractors Vinci Construction Grands Projets and MBG are using two slurry tunnel boring machines for client Infrabel. Once completed, the tunnels will form part of a rail link for the port of Antwerp relieving heavily congested existing routes.

Construction on the rail link began in 2008 and is due to open in 2013 costing €841M (£730M) under a 42 year public private partnership.

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