The TBM, which was launched in May last year, has bored a 2.8km inbound tunnel from the west side of the Maribyrnong River under Yarraville, finishing at Williamstown Road near the West Gate Freeway.

Excavation involved the removal of more than 1 million tonnes of rock and soil, and installation of more than 10,000 concrete segments.

The project’s other TBM – Bella – was launched in March last year and has completed 84% of the 4km outbound tunnel under Melbourne’s western suburbs.

The two 90m-long, 15.6m diameter Herrenknecht TBMs are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. They have been working at up to 27m below the city.

With the help of a 500T gantry crane, it will now take three months to dismantle and remove TBM Vida. The parts will be either recycled or returned to Herrenknecht for reuse.

When completed in 2025, the West Gate Tunnel will provide a second river crossing and an alternative to the West Gate Bridge. It will remove more than 9,000 lorries from residential streets.