Brenner issues major tenders

8 October 2013

The Brenner Base Tunnel client, BBT, announced two mammoth tenders on 30 September. The total value was EUR 830M, with EUR 460M for the Tulfes-Pfons contract and EUR 370M for the Isarco River underpass.

The Tulfes-Pfons section requires construction of a total of 38km for: exploratory tunnel extension, a rescue tunnel for the Innsbruck bypass and two connecting tunnels. The exploratory tunnel will continue 15km southwards from Ahrental into the Pfons Municipality and is the first use of a TBM on the Austrian portion of Brenner.

The rescue tunnel will be 9.1km. All excavation and lining of the rescue and connecting tunnels is included in the contract. Work will begin in summer 2014 and last five years. The award will go to the lowest bidder.

The Isarco tender covers construction of the main tunnels north of Fortezza and the two connecting tunnels between Oberau and Mittewald that will link to the existing line. The tunnels run only a few metres below the riverbed.

A BBT spokesman said, "Before work on these tunnels begins, a series of preparatory works must be carried out on the surface. For example, the state road SS12 will be moved, two bridges will be built over the Isarco and the Rio Bianco and a loading area will be built adjacent to the A22 highway, which will be needed for the transportation and supply of building materials.

"Roughly 3.5 km of tunnel will be excavated using blasting. A further 1.5 km of tunnel near the Isarco will be constructed using the cut-and-cover method. While this construction work is ongoing, the river flow will be temporarily redirected. The existing railway line will be permanently re-routed."

The contract will be awarded to the tender with the highest overall score, and suggestions for improvements will be heard. Preparatory works should begin in spring 2014, main tunnel construction to begin in summer 2015 and work will last nine to ten years.