Update 15 – Acton tunnel damage

Crews will continue to work through the night to address the damage in the Acton tunnel following the truck collision on Tuesday.

Workers have successfully dislodged the truck from the roof of the Acton tunnel. The removal of the vehicle and associated works are complex and require a large range of expertise. There are numerous ACT Government personnel working 24/7 to reopen the tunnel safely. Among the list of issues faced include the public health and safety concerns due to the damaged bonded asbestos ceiling tiles.

The incident yesterday resulted in a number of ceiling panels in the tunnel being knocked down by the excavator. The crews on site have to pull out a big percentage of the ceiling panels from the damaged area for safety considerations. Each panel weighs 85kgs dry, and they are all saturated due to the sprinkler going off when the accident occurred. In addition to the tiles, steel supports, brackets and fire systems have had to be removed.

This work is occurring at height, with workers reaching over their heads to manipulate heavy objects. It is also very hot in the tunnel as there is no ventilation since the accident occurred. Teams are working on rotation to ensure crew safety and to complete the works quickly.

All efforts to open the tunnel as soon as possible are being undertaken, however the ACT Government’s main priority is the safety of all Canberrans while the tunnel is being assessed and cleared.

While these tunnel works continue, existing road closures remain in place. Motorists are advised to drive carefully on the eastbound section near Acton tunnel and to keep their eyes on the road.

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