Blogs Archive

Archive of blogs from the global tunnels industry

Blogs By Date

November 2018

Top

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

Top

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

Top

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

Top

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

Top

Obras Subterráneas
24 July 2018

June 2018

Top

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

Top

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

Top

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.

March 2018

Top

Preserving Paradise
26 March 2018 Whenever I hear about whatever the ITA Committee for Underground Space (ITACUS) is up to, I think about that Joni Mitchell song, Big Yellow Taxi. In it, she sings about a future world where humanity has “paved over paradise and put up a parking lot”.

February 2018

Top

Pipe dream?
06 February 2018 At a presentation to a council meeting in the final week of January, Elon Musk’s tunnelling company presented plans to tunnel under western Los Angeles.

January 2018

Top

Advance through apathy
22 January 2018 The Zojila Pass Tunnel may go ahead, finally, as it received government approval this month. The project is to build an all-weather road route to Jammu and Kashmir, featuring a 14km-long tunnel.

Expanding Engagement
17 January 2018 Montreal, home to miles of underground city amenities offering residents access to shopping, dinning, transit and entertainment, while connecting them to above ground buildings and facilities—a network especially appreciated during the harsh winter months—played a perfect host for Han Admiraal and Antonia Cornaro of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association’s Committee on Underground Space (ITACUS).

November 2017

Top

What’s the risk?
02 November 2017 This month I am stealing a comment hook from the British Tunnelling Society again. At the October meeting, the evening’s lecture was on the management of risk in tunnelling and major infrastructure projects.

October 2017

Top

Bigger isn’t always bad
18 October 2017 The global tunnelling industry is worth USD 1.5tr, according to a new report released in August by Timetric. Leading the pack is Europe, with a project pipeline of almost USD 575bn, surpassing Asia-Pacifi c by a mere USD 10bn. The report attributes this economic success for the region to mega-projects for high-speed and metro rail system expansion.

Productivity Problem
12 October 2017

September 2017

Top

The Nuclear Solution
06 September 2017 Balfour Beatty has announced that it is EDF Energy’s preferred bidder for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station tunnelling and marine works package. The four-year contract will involve the construction of three tunnels for a total of 9.5km in length and 7m in diameter. The tunnels will form part of the cooling system required.

August 2017

Top

History Lessons
29 August 2017 Historians contend their subject matter’s utility helps us understand ourselves and the societies in which we live. To borrow an idea from civil engineering—we must understand the foundation before we build upon it. Looking beyond the literal interpretations, in the tunnelling industry without history one cannot appreciate the (comparative) ease, comfort and safety of today’s work environment and modern equipment.