Blogs Archive

Archive of blogs from the global tunnels industry

Blogs By Date

June 2019

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Preserving old and new
03 June 2019 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.

May 2019

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Underground Movement
03 May 2019 Tunnels and Tunnelling turns 50 this month. Here follows the magazine’s first ever editorial, reprinted in tribute to the founding editor:

April 2019

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Records not worth breaking
29 April 2019 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
10 April 2019 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.

March 2019

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Update from Forrestfield
05 March 2019 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.

Don’t read this over lunch
01 March 2019 For Washington, D.C., 2018 was the wettest year on record. National Airport reported 66.28 inches of rain, which outpaced the prior record of 61.33 inches (1,558mm) from 1889 and was more than 26 inches above the normal rainfall amount in a year (39.74 inches). In addition, five months of the year (May, July, September, November and December) ranked among the top 10 wettest months on record.

February 2019

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Hard to miss
12 February 2019 In this issue of Tunnels and Tunnelling International we have devoted the majority of the magazine to a paper by Dr Barry New of the Geotechnical Consulting Group (GCG). In it, New explores tunnelling impact assessments with a view to protecting existing underground assets. The work has been guided by investigations into failures and studies of the geoenvironment of cities and examines present approaches to the issue, while also making suggestions of how the industry might progress in future.

January 2019

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Changing everything
22 January 2019 I recently hosted a breakout session at a conference on ‘disruptive technologies’. These technologies were: the Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. It was interesting, and will be covered in a subsequent issue. But for tunnelling I can think of one historical change that was far more significant, which has recently been recognised with an award.

December 2018

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Goodwill to some, not all
18 December 2018 In what is possibly a nod to the season of good cheer, Ipsos Mori has published its annual veracity index. This poll by the market research company has the accolade of being the longest-running poll on trust in professions, having been taken consistently since 1983. The poll is simple; it asks respondents to say whether they trust different types of people to generally tell the truth.

November 2018

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Telling tales
22 November 2018 Every few months I have a meeting with the magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, in which I ask their advice, plan future issues and weather some constructive criticism (this editorial will be reviewed at about 11.30am on 18 January 2019 – not that I am feeling self-conscious).

October 2018

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Half a Degree
25 October 2018 As T&T went to press the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change, announced that limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C would provide clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, and goes hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society.

Science of the small
08 October 2018 It has been a while since I wrote about tunnelling efforts to further humanity’s understanding of particle physics.

September 2018

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Welsh fairy tale
20 September 2018 Fairy tales: we all remember our favourites. Steve Mackey, chair of the Rhondda Tunnel Society may well be living his own.

August 2018

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Tap in to the public mood
24 August 2018 Growing up in southern Italy, I spent most of my days during the hot summers in an olive tree in my garden. This hundred-year-old tree kept all of my secrets and protected the little girl who wanted to explore new cities all over the world. I still love my home, Nardò, situated in Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot) but as an adult I left my olive tree to work in London.

July 2018

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Obras Subterráneas
24 July 2018

June 2018

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The dirty “p” word
27 June 2018 Cities aren’t built by engineers, they are built by those who step up and lead,” according to Sevaun Palvetzian CEO of Civic Action, a Toronto based non-profi t coalition to address the region’s social and economic future. Her sentiment, while true, is aimed at building inclusive leadership at the civic level, an effort that is laudable. However, it’s also a message the industry should take personally. More people from the engineering and construction fi elds, as well as science, medicine and other professional realms, need to be involved in politics at all levels from the local school board to the federal government.

Known unknowns
19 June 2018

May 2018

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An Austrian Method
25 May 2018 A joint venture led by Porr has been awarded a major contract on the largest tunnelling project in Austrian history, the Brenner Base Tunnel. The design-build consortium, which includes Porr, Hinteregger & Söhne Baugesellschaft, Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua, and Itinera will construct Lot BBT H51 Pfons-Brenner for around EUR 966M (USD 1.2bn).

Look back to look forward
09 May 2018 January marked 200 years since Marc Brunel patented the first tunnelling shield. The cover of this issue shows just how far the industry has come since he tunnelled under London’s river Thames, and further in the features illustrate the strides the industry has made over the last decades.

April 2018

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World tunnel congress
25 April 2018 The international tunnelling industry will gather in Dubai towards the end of April for the 44th ITA General Assembly and World Tunnel Congress. This should be an interesting one.