Blogs ArchiveArchive of blogs from the global tunnels industry
Blogs By Date
Migrating to online
I heard a rumour on the grapevine recently (which thankfully proved false) that a highly-respected school of tunnelling was to withdraw its MSc programme.
The question now on almost everyone’s lips is how are our professional activities going to change after the easing of lockdowns,
New year resolutions
You’re supposed to floss your teeth, quit smoking, eat more vegetables, get 30 minutes of exercise each day, cut down on anything worth eating or drinking, and the list goes on. And whether or not you actually do that, or try to, the doctor or dentist is told one’s very best efforts are being applied, mostly.
Queensbury renovation has popular support
The good people of West Yorkshire have rallied against the closure of the 1.4-mile (2.3km) Queensbury Tunnel, with 6,000 signing a petition in support. While this does not amount to a pardon for the abandoned 140-year-old structure, hopefully the Department for Transport (DfT) will take notice.
Left foot forward
After a tumultuous and tiring few years for the British electorate, a towering majority for the Conservative Party makes it very likely that Britain will leave the European Union in short order.
It is nice to look back 20 years at the Y2K panic and laugh. Entering adulthood for many of a certain generation, particularly in the US, has been marked by momentous and somber events. Specifically 9/11 and the Lehman Brothers crash, which we couldn’t control but yet that shaped the way we established our careers and lives.
Choice of method
One of the important things to remember about science is that it is always refining. While a field advances, improved data collection and the interpretation of studies brings the model we base our understanding on closer to reality.
In this issue we have a fire protection angle. You will find several articles covering an incident in Gdansk, variable frequency drives, the impact of fire events on tunnel linings and a piece on the latest health and safety thinking in this area.
Experience what’s out there
A tunnel is roughly defined, when a definition can be narrowed down at all. A drive time radio host sharing the traffic report will refer to a surface-level enclosed road as a tunnel, or a pedestrian walkway in a culvert, or even an eight lane overpass. When I started working with Tunnels & Tunnelling the general guidelines for covering a project were, at least a kilometer long, and at least eight feet in diameter. The specific numbers aren’t as important, though, as what they signify—the need to excavate without disrupting the surface.
A 40-year strategy
There are many in this industry who will say “nothing changes” in tunnelling. Obvious technological advancements, mergers and retirements aside, many times they are right.
HS2 under review
It is understood that HS2 is at the starting blocks and ready to go. The visible evidence of this can be seen across the county, with major demolition and enabling works around Euston and along the route. The long term effects on spreading wealth northwards can also be seen with development being undertaken in Birmingham and Manchester.
Planning for the twenties
In this issue of Tunnels and Tunnelling International Paola De Pascali reports from the World Tunnel Congress, which was held in Naples in May and saw a number of publications from working groups and committees. The ITA Committee for Technology (ITAtech was particularly prolific.
Wisdom of the Faroes
As I write, the Tunnels and Tunnelling team is preparing to leave for the Rapid Excavation and Tunnelling Conference in the USA, the world’s richest, and one of its largest countries. It always seems to have a megaproject underway or in the pipeline.
Preserving old and new
Joining WTC 2019 in Naples was a full immersion into the Italian art of tunnelling. The plan was to show how engineering and innovation meet archaeology, architecture and art. The beauty of Naples is not only above ground, but it is a cradle of underground works, which unveils a network of Greek and Roman tunnels and underground structures dating to the fourth century BC.
Tunnels and Tunnelling turns 50 this month. Here follows the magazine’s first ever editorial, reprinted in tribute to the founding editor:
Records not worth breaking
In June the tunnelling industry will gather in Chicago for its annual conference, a city that has invested heavily in stormwater management.
Congress, clients and codes
If you are one of the 1,000 or so delegates at the World Tunnel Congress; benvenuto a Napoli. This year it is Europe’s turn to host WTC, with Naples being selected at the 2016 congress in San Francisco as the industry’s chosen gathering point.
Update from Forrestfield
There is some late-breaking news as Tunnels and Tunnelling International goes to press. On 19 February the Forrestfield-Airport Link’s client announced that its two stopped TBMs should resume tunnelling in mid- and late-March respectively, good news for a project that was previously held up by a sinkhole last September.