News Archive

Archive of industry news from the global tunnels industry

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November 2019

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Central Interceptor project’s TBM ordered
14 November 2019 New Zealand – The Central Interceptor wastewater project has ordered a 5.45m-diameter Herrenknecht EPB for its main 13km tunnel. The tunnel depth will vary from 15-110m, with a harbour crossing 15m below the seabed. The finished diameter of the tunnel will be 4.5m.

Protan hires personnel for move to tunnelling
14 November 2019 Norway/Turkey – Protan has hired Ardnt Hedtkamp to lead its tunnel business in Central Europe and Simen Aaserud as its business development manager. The Norwegian industrial group had acquired Turkish tunnel membrane manufacturer Multiplan in August.

Leaked HS2 cost review says proceed
14 November 2019 Great Britain – The High Speed 2 (HS2) project in the UK should go ahead, according to a leaked draft of the review into the project. Seen by British newspaper ‘The Times’, the report highlights the benefits to the North of England, despite significantly rising costs and falling estimates of the final return on investment.

Progress update from Isarco River Underpass
07 November 2019 Italy – Salini Impregilo, Strabag, Consorzio Integra and Collini Lavori have completed 70% of the excavation work on the southernmost lot of the Brenner Base Tunnel project. This amounts to 3,800m of excavation as Tunnels and Tunnelling goes to press.

Bechtel opens Melbourne office to target infrastructure pipeline
07 November 2019 Australia – Bechtel has opened an office in Melbourne. It stated that the move was to pick up work from the Victorian Government’s AUD 100bn infrastructure pipeline.

First two TBMs gear up for Pune Metro
07 November 2019 India – Two Terratec EPBMs have been completed and shipped to the underground works on Line 1 of the 16.56km Pune Metro. The TBMs have already been despatched from the factory in China and are currently being shipped to the port of Mumbai. Both machines are expected to arrive in November and will be transported to Pune where they will be assembled and then tested on site in mid-December.

Metro Vancouver greenlights Massey tunnel option
07 November 2019 BC – Metro Vancouver's board of directors approved the tunnel option suggested last month by a committee. The November 1 vote endorses the proposed eight-lane, immersed tube tunnel for the Massey tunnel replacement. Two lanes would be reserved for transit.

October 2019

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Breakthrough on Thames Tideway West
31 October 2019 Great Britain – The first breakthrough on the Thames Tideway project took place last week at King George’s Park in Wandsworth. A 3m diameter Lovat EPBM, Charlotte, is digging the 1.1km Frogmore Connection Tunnel from Wandsworth to Fulham. The breakthrough marked completion of the 500m southern section of the tunnel and the TBM will now be lifted from the shaft, taken back to Dormay Street and placed back into the ground to tunnel 600m north to Fulham.

Sandvik launches new drill rig and rock drills
29 October 2019 Sweden – Sandvik has launched its DT1132i drill rig and RD535 rock drill, intended for tunnelling operations, and also its RDX5 rock drill for face and long hole drilling, as well as rock bolting.

Western Sydney Metro work to begin in 2020
29 October 2019 Australia – Work on the Western portion of the Sydney Metro project will begin next year. Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian delivered the announcement, saying that work would begin at the Bays Precinct, to prepare for major tunnelling works totalling more than 50km of new tunnel. These will be the longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia and are expected to constitute the largest tunnelling contract in Australian history.

New president and CEO of Sandvik
25 October 2019 Finland – Stefan Widing has been appointed the new president and CEO of Sandvik. He will assume the role no later than April 2020, succeeding Björn Rosengren who will leave Sandvik on 1 February 2020.

Radio frequency friendly manhole cover developed
25 October 2019 USA/Great Britain – Firbrelite has developed a radio frequency friendly manhole cover. The main benefit of the FL60RF cover is to enable real-time remote underground monitoring, so utility operators can keep track of water usage, sewer flow, floodwater, oil levels and similar. The company claims that mining and telecoms uses are also possible.

CIRIA sets out cast in-situ concrete project
25 October 2019 Great Britain – The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has issued a statement on its project to see what can be done to reduce the defects in cast in-situ reinforced concrete.

Bane NOR signs further Vestfold tunnel contract
25 October 2019 Norway - A 10.8km-long double track tunnel between Drammen and Kobbervikdalen is set to be built on the Vestfoldbanen railway in Norway. Bane NOR has signed a contract with Veidekke Entreprenør for the construction of this rock tunnel.

Crossrail issues Bond Street air quality update
24 October 2019 Great Britain – Crossrail and contractor Costain Skanska JV ordered an independent air quality survey at the Bond Street project, following concerns about two (off-site) worker fatalities.

Vestfold upgrade work commences
17 October 2019 Norway – Some 14km of new double-track railway is being constructed in eastern Norway for the upgrade of the Vestfold Line. The project calls for the construction of three single-bore tunnels, each with a cross-section of 123m3.

Hatta pumped storage project contract awarded
16 October 2019 UAE – A Strabag-led consortium will design, build and commission the Hatta pumped storage project (PSP) in Dubai. Strabag, along with partners Andritz of Austria and Ozkar Insaat of Turkey will build the EUR 340M scheme for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Lane secures Seattle ship canal contract
15 October 2019 Washington – Lane, part of the Salini Impregilo Group, announced October 9 it has won a USD 255M contract to build a water storage tunnel to help reduce polluted overflows into the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Washington.

Stakeholders reject working conditions as cause of Bond Street deaths
10 October 2019 Great Britain – Two workers on Crossrail’s Bond Street project passed away in their sleep in the same week. Various media have reported that working conditions relating to air quality or stress were to blame, but this has been rejected by stakeholders. Reports of further investigation, or further details of the illness were not forthcoming from the contractor or client.

The Victorian Tunnelling Training Centre is under construction
10 October 2019 Australia - The construction of the Victorian Tunnelling Training Centre (VTC) is set to start in Melbourne. The VTC will be located at Holmesglen Institute’s Drummond Street campus in Chadstone and will take the first students during Semester 1 over the next year.



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