Today on Latest from Tunnels and Tunnelling


Steel pipe deemed DSC in Seattle’s mega tunnel
12 May, 2015 WASHINGTON - A dispute review board made its recommendation May 3 that the steel casing encountered by the TBM excavating the SR99 Replacement Tunnel in Seattle in December 2013 is a Differing Site Condition (DSC).
  • SR99 TBM rescued
    USA - Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) completed the lifting process to remove the 57ft (17.4m) diameter cutterhead and main drive unit of the TBM mining the SR99 replacement tunnel on March 31, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced.
  • Jacobs awarded early design work for Heathrow link
    GREAT BRITAIN – Jacobs Engineering has been tasked with design and studies work for a proposed Network Rail link to Heathrow. The ‘Western Rail Access to Heathrow’ project will apply for a Development Consent Order in early 2016. Jacobs will produce the design for the proposal documentation. The scope of work includes topographical surveys and geotechnical investigations, tunneling design for the new 3.1-mile (5km) route, and railway systems designs for track and overhead line equipment.
  • Concerns over Hai Van Pass tunnel upgrade
    VIETNAM – A project to expand the Hai Van Tunnel’s emergency lane into a main tunnel has drawn safety concerns. Le Van Trung, director of the Da Nang City Department of Transport, said he supports a project to build another tunnel through the Hai Van Pass to cope with the increasing traffic volume, but is concerned by the implications of the loss of a safety tunnel.
  • Funding packet announced for Melbourne Metro
    AUSTRALIA – The Labor Government has announced AUD 1.5 billion to cover all anticipated planning, design and significant early works ahead of major construction of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project in 2018.


Frozen fight
24 April, 2015 Over the last four years, McMillen Jacobs Associates has designed retro_ t, replacement, or new icing shields for four railroad tunnels in the US. Joe Schrank, Heather Stewart and Gerry Millar all of McMillen Jacobs Associates, explain the installations.
  • Driving diversions
    To build a river diversion for the La Romaine project in Quebec, EBC-Neilson chose to excavate with a full face. Donald Proulx, vice president of heavy civil works and mines, business development proposals, for EBC Neilson, reports.
  • The first freeze
    Technicore is the first contractor in Canada to perform its own groundfreezing for tunnelling work. Nicole Robinson visited this inaugural project as it neared completion this winter.
  • Mobilising Latin America
    Major infrastructure projects across Latin America will mobilise both people and freight and provide much needed energy and utilities and the tunnelling sector is set to benefit. Technical journalist Sally Spencer reports
  • Argentine Shaft Saviour
    Tunnelling work for a water treatment project in northern Buenos Aires required shaft excavation in soft, sandy silt. When leaking joints hampered progress, the contractor chose to pursue groundfreezing, a possible first use in South America. Joseph Sopko and Robert Chamberland of Moretrench give this report


Acknowledging awards
24 April, 2015 Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year to simply promote movies and television shows for events like the Academy Awards and the Emmys. While superficially glamorous, the prestige is lacking with each passing year, with deeper pockets and a growing number of award shows for the entertainment industry.
  • High tide
    It’s an exciting time for the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) leadership. With growing international acceptance that climate change is affecting the world, there are two outcomes. Firstly, governments try to change the habits of the planet to slow the pace of a changing biosphere. This is a boost to the demand for tunnelling on the larger scale; governments looking for low-carbon per capita means of transportation, for example. Metro networks rather than private car ownership.
  • What is sustainable infrastructure?
    It's not underground, one would conclude from a report asking, what does the future of sustainable infrastructure look like? Making use of underground space is not once mentioned.
  • China Decider
    In December Australia’s multi-industry contracting giant Leighton Holdings announced the impending sale of John Holland to the fourth largest construction company in the world. The buyer, state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) stressed that it would be “business as usual” for John Holland customers, that it perceived growth opportunities in Australia. Normal commentary during a takeover.