Giant Borer ‘Kenji’ Burrows Through Brisbane River for $17-Million Pipeline Project

Local kids get to name and design tunnel borer.

Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) is preparing for larger utility demand in the future and is using a giant borer to do just that.

Dubbed ‘Kenji,’ QUU’s tunnel borer weighs 45 tonnes and is capable of tunnelling through rocks 10 metres below the river. The gigantic machine will create a tunnel starting from the Kingfisher Park in Kenmore and will pass underneath the Brisbane River before reaching the other side of the river near the Jindalee Scout Hall.

Kenji will bore a total length of 560 metres, equal to five football fields, to pave the way for two new pipes. The tunnelling project will be completed in around nine weeks, provided that there are no adverse weather or ground conditions.

QUU’s cross-river pipeline project will accommodate two pipes, one for water and another for sewage. With this project, the utility company should be able to effectively service a growing population in the western suburbs. The pipeline construction is also intended to ensure that the area’s water and sewerage network is built strong enough to withstand the elements.

Local Kids Participate

As part of the $17-million cross-river pipeline project, QUU invited kids from four local schools to give the giant borer a unique name and design. Of the more than 200 entries that the utility company received, Luke Lau from Kenmore South State School and Olivia Harm from Jindalee State School won the prizes.

Olivia came up with ‘Kenji’ name for the tunnel by combining Kenmore and Jindalee. Luke designed the colourful look of the tunnel borer.

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See ‘Kenji’ in action. (Credit: Queensland Urban Utilities / Facebook)