Features Archive

Archive of features from the global tunnels industry

Features By Date

December 2020

Top

The third way
16 December 2020 Genoa has a magnificent sea port but desperately poor communications inland. A third route is being developed under the mountains that surround the city. Julian Champkin reports

Design and planning of large-diameter underground surge shafts
16 December 2020 Rakesh Khali, Group Project Manager, HCC, India, and Naveen Bahuguna, General Manager-Geotech, RIL, India, discuss the design and planning of the support and construction sequences of two shafts in different ground conditions and the monitoring performance during construction

Client expectations
16 December 2020 Those who have worked on underground projects will know that being an exceptional designer requires many different qualities to those required to be an excellent contractor. However, one of the elements of success that can always be improved upon (regardless of whether you are a designer or contractor) is a strong and clear understanding of the owner’s expectations. This depends directly on the degree of communication with the client at different phases of the project and the ability to put ourselves in their shoes and see what merits and virtues they are looking for when choosing the best teams for their projects. I recently had a chance to discuss these matters with several clients in Canada, and the following is a selection of the most important qualities they talked about.

TBM Risk Assessment and Selection for Hydropower Tunnels
15 December 2020 Dean Brox looks at the benefits of typical TBM types and their applicability to hydropower projects taking into account the prevailing geological and geotechnical criteria

Metro moves down under
15 December 2020 Sydney is growing fast, and its transport infrastructure needs to catch up even if the city’s famous harbour is in the way. Julian Champkin reports on a major expansion of the Sydney metro.

November 2020

Top

Fibres of steel
24 November 2020 Choosing the right steel fibre for FRC precast tunnel segments can have a significant impact on performance, productivity and cost, explains Benoit de Rivaz, Global Technical Manager BP Underground, Bekaert

Melbourne’s big dig
24 November 2020 Four TBMs are at work on the Melbourne Metro – a new line comprising two 9km-long tunnels that will run beneath the central business district and where monitoring for ground movement was critical. Julian Champkin reports on the progress

Canadian distance record
20 November 2020 Microtunnelling can save costs, surface disruption and inconvenience to the public, while the distances that can be covered are increasing. Julian Champkin looks at a 5km project in Canada and asks whether the technique can stretch even further

Rock Mass Classification Systems
20 November 2020 Rock mass’ refers to an accumulation of rock material separated by rock discontinuities, mostly by joints, bedding planes, dyke intrusions and faults. When a rock mass is intersected by a sufficiently large number of weak planes such that rock-mass behaviour is not controlled by failure on individual planes, the mass’s behaviour will tend towards the continuum type of behaviour again. However, the numerous planes in the mass (usually weaker than the rock material), will significantly influence rock behaviour. In such cases, rock mass classification is commonly used to evaluate the rock mass behaviour.

Structural design and classification of FRC for tunnel linings
20 November 2020 Axel G Nitschke, Tunnel Practice Leader at WSP USA, looks at the use of fibre-reinforced concrete and suggests a labelling and classification system designed to provide an effective and easy way to specify FRC for tunnel linings

BTS celebrates 50 years
19 November 2020 In February 2021, the British Tunnelling Society will be 50. To celebrate, it is compiling a major retrospective to chart half a century of momentous advances in tunnelling, recording the changes through the eyes of tunnellers. George Demetri takes a look

October 2020

Top

Not going viral
23 October 2020 Many feared the outbreak of Covid-19 would wreak havoc on the tunnelling sector so how has it fared during the coronavirus pandemic? Perhaps not as disastrously as feared. Julian Champkin investigates

Two-Way Tunnelling in Seoul
23 October 2020 Great Train Express (GTX) is a proposed high-speed commuter line with shared infrastructure that will connect new towns around the greater Seoul Metropolitan Area with the capital. It is the first project in Korea to use a large-bore TBM. Dr Warren Wangryul Jee, chairman and tunnel project manager of GTS-Korea, reports

Up the junction, round the bend
23 October 2020 While pushing a preformed portal box through an excavation has been done before, a Network Rail project demands that it be done on a curve – and that hugely increases the complexity. Julian Champkin reports

Extending the Tamoios highway
23 October 2020 Located mostly in Brazilian rainforest, the Tamoios highway and tunnel project is of critical importance to the Brazilian economy. It was the subject of the BTSYM talk in September given by project director Pedro Soares dos Anjos. Report by Divik Bandopadhyaya of London Bridge Associates

Automation, AI and the future of tunneling
23 October 2020 Modern, mechanised tunnelling methods have had an enormous economic, environmental and cultural impact globally. To sustain long-term growth in tunnelling operations, industry and academia are researching new technologies to better handle challenging conditions. Among these, automation and artificial intelligence have an essential and promising role in the future of underground construction.

Groundwater control for tunnel cross passages
23 October 2020 Dr Martin Preene of Preene Groundwater Consulting looks at the construction of cross passages and the various techniques for groundwater control and ground treatment

September 2020

Top

Silent Sentinels on watch in The Hague
22 September 2020 Challenging municipal requirements were met using advanced instrumentation to provide accurate geomonitoring of road tunnels in the Netherlands

Innovation in wireless remote condition monitoring
22 September 2020 Simon Brightwell and Markus Rennen of Senceive explain how wireless remote condition-monitoring can provide early warning of a wide variety of subterranean changes in tunnels and so help drive subsequent data-based decisions

Mexico’s Megatunnel
22 September 2020 It is the world’s largest sewage project and has faced issues which mega projects of this nature usually face in terms of geology, delivery and budget. But T&T’s Julian Champkin finds that Mexico City’s Emisor Oriente is a triumph nevertheless