News Archive

Archive of industry news from the global tunnels industry

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January 2020

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Tunnel features in major jailbreak
28 January 2020 Paraguay – At least 75 prisoners have escaped a prison in Paraguay through a tunnel, according to local media. The men are believed to be part of an infamous 10,000-strong Brazilian criminal organisation called First Capital Command, which deals in drugs and arms trafficking.

Mill Creek Drainage Tunnel TBM unveiled
22 January 2020 Texas – The City of Dallas unveiled the 11.6m-diameter hard rock machine that will bore the 8km-long Mill Creek Drainage Relief Tunnel. The machine, manufactured by Robbins, will change diameter at one point along the bore and continue at a diameter of 9.9m.

Delhi Metro Line 8 extension works contract awarded
22 January 2020 India – A joint venture of Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) and VCCL won a package of works to extend the Delhi’s Line 8.

Sydney Metro finishes city centre tunnels
22 January 2020 Australia – Four out of five drives for the Sydney Metro’s ‘City and Southwest’ phase have been completed. The most recent breakthrough was into Barangaroo Station. These drives represent the entirety of the city centre tunnels, with only a second tube crossing the harbour still to be completed. As of 21 January, some 97% of tunnel excavation had been completed.

Single Delta tunnel to start environmental review
17 January 2020 California-- Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, announced January 15 the California Department of Water Resources issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) initiating the environmental review process for a single-tunnel conveyance solution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

GHH adds to equipment range
16 January 2020 Germany – Mining and tunnelling machinery manufacturer GHH announced a major increase in its range. Some 18 machine types were announced in November 2019, due to an alliance with Titan.

Barbco announces new patent
14 January 2020 Ohio – Barbco announced January 12 the co-owner and CEO Anthony Barbera was granted U.S. Patent #10465460 for the Barbco FlexBor tooling and technology on November 5, 2019.

Tunnelling starts under Toronto highways
08 January 2020 Ontario – Metrolinx announced tunnel work has begun under highways 401 and 409 for its new train tunnel. Considered one of the busiest sections of highway in North America, according to Metrolinx, which released a video on December 16 showcasing the SEM construction below 21 live lanes of traffic.

Jennmar rebrands to Xcal Tools
08 January 2020 Tony Calandra, group president of Frank Calandra Inc. and Calandra Group, LLC., announced January 6 Jennmar McSweeney's, Jennmar Sanshell, Cuda Tools Inc., and Jennmar Construction Tools will be re-branded and changing their names to Xcal Tools.

FIDIC endorses infrastructure transparency initiative
06 January 2020 International – The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) stated that it will endorse the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST), a global initiative to ‘improve transparency and accountability in public infrastructure’.

Monark buys Epiroc’s handheld drilling business
06 January 2020 Norway – A rock drilling tools manufacturer has bought Eprioc’s handheld drilling business and factory. The facility, based in Ockelbo, about 200km north of Stockholm, was part of Epiroc’s Rock Drilling Tools division. The approximately 40 employees who work at the facility will be offered to transfer to the new owner.

AMT-II TBM ordered
06 January 2020 India – Patel Engineering has ordered a Terratec TBM for the AMT-II water transfer project in Maharashtra, western India. The project calls for a 3.2m hard rock gripper TBM to complete the two drives that form the 5.5km transfer tunnel.

December 2019

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National Grid awards LPT2 tunnels contract
19 December 2019 Great Britain – National Grid has signed a GBP 400M contract with Hochtief-Murphy JV to deliver the tunnels and shafts for the London Power Tunnels (LPT2) project. The overall scheme will cost GBP 1bn (USD 1.3bn) and take six years to complete. This is the second phase of the LPT project.

Bekaert takes full control of the Underground Solutions brand
19 December 2019 Belgium – On 31 October Bekaert concluded the buy-out of Maccaferri's 50% share in Bekaert Maccaferri Underground Solutions (BMUS) and as a result, the Underground Solutions team will work under the Bekaert name from January onward.

City of Toronto launches TBM for Coxwell bypass project
17 December 2019 Ontario – Toronto mayor John Tory and councillor Jennifer McKelvie, vice-chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee and the mayor's resilience and environmental champion, officially marked the beginning of tunnel boring for the Coxwell Bypass Tunnel on December 14.

Trelleborg expands China production facility
13 December 2019 China – Gaskets supplier Trelleborg has expanded its Chinese factory in response to an increase in local demand for tunnel seals. The expansion will see the company produce its Gina gasket locally for the Chinese market, following the addition of a new manufacturing line at its Qingdao facility.

Dawn Greig takes UKSTT chair
12 December 2019 Great Britain – Dawn Greig has been elected as chair of the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology. Greig is the global creative and business director with Picote Solutions, part of the Finland-based Picote Group which specialises in the innovation and manufacture of solutions for the trenchless rehabilitation of smaller diameter drains and sewers.

Sandvik announces Stage V compliant underground loaders
12 December 2019 Sweden - Sandvik is ready to launch its first Stage V compliant underground loaders for hard rock mining applications, starting with Sandvik LH517i and Sandvik LH621i early next year.

City of Dallas unveils Mill Creek TBM
12 December 2019 Texas – The City of Dallas recently unveiled the Mill Creek Drainage Relief Tunnel TBM, it announced December 6. The 37.7ft (11m) by 230ft long machine will excavate a 5-mile (8km) tunnel for flood protection.

Severomuysky Tunnel TBMs ordered
06 December 2019 Russia – Two 10.37m-diameter Robbins Crossover (XRE) machines have been chosen to bore the second Severomuysky Tunnel. The tunnel is a 15.5km-long drive that will form part of a new rail line that will supplement the existing Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM).