Features Archive

Archive of features from the global tunnels industry

Features By Date

May 2021


Handling the pressure
07 May 2021 Christian Wieczorek, Managing Director of AST Bochum and engineer/technical writer Roland Herr discuss ways of connecting hoses safely to modern compressors and look at new solutions

New generation FRC segments
07 May 2021 Benoit de Rivaz, Technical Manager, Bekaert, France explains how the inclusion of steel fibres in precast concrete segments can bring environmental, economic and durability benefits

Transferable asset
07 May 2021 A technology developed for land-based tunnelling has found a new and expanding niche in bringing off-shore energy nearer to its consumers. Julian Champkin reports

07 May 2021 Crossrail’s approach to health and safety is as much about psychology and culture as it is prescription. Keren Fallwell reports

Traditional soft-ground handwork
07 May 2021 HANDWORK AND TIMBERING IS A demanding yet fascinating method in any tunnellers toolbox.

Learning from three great challenges
07 May 2021 Mehdi Hosseini of London Bridge Associates reports on the recent BTS talk – ‘Three Great Challenges: Experience from TBM Tunnelling in Difficult Ground’ – given in January by Robbins president Lok Home

April 2021


Band of brothers or distant cousins?
30 April 2021 Martin Knights FREng, former ITA President, compares the functions and fortunes over the past 50-odd years of the British Tunnelling Society and the International Tunnelling Association

Tunnel vision or visual twins
30 April 2021 Barry Bassnett, founder of Astrea and Richpix, describes a new, relatively straightforward method of capturing asset condition using photographs without the need to resort to point clouds

A most ambitious conservation project
30 April 2021 Detractors of the Stonehenge Tunnel might be surprised to see it defended by a pillar of the conservation community. But Prof Tim Darvill argues that the tunnel is a well-researched tool of conservation using state-of-the-art approaches

Valley Vision
30 April 2021 Bernice Alaniz, Gretchen Baisa and Ronak Naik of VTA and John Caulfield VTA consultant discuss the proposed extension to California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) regional rail system

AI and Machine Learning
30 April 2021 Best use of artificial intelligence in tunnels will need data strategies plus experienced oversight, writes Patrick Reynolds

Microtunnelling in the desert
30 April 2021 Estelle Claeys and Thomas Blanchard of Toulouse-based contractor Bessac describe a challenging pipejack in Chile which involved size and location constraints within a full-blown public health emergency

Immersed tunnels
30 April 2021 In 1854, Charles Dickens wrote in his weekly journal Household Words: “...Of all bores, one of the strangest, if it ever come to anything, will be the purposed tunnel or tube to be laid along the bed of a river or sea, or at any rate to be immersed in the water of the river or sea – not like the Thames Tunnel”

Pipejacking on the rise
30 April 2021 Pipejacking is typically a horizontal technique. But attempting it vertically from inside a tunnel below the widest river in the world is an altogether new technology that is delivering environmental and economic benefits to Argentina. Julian Champkin reports

Construction claims and dispute resolution
30 April 2021 Every time the conditions of a construction project change – whether new ideas develop for implementation, or some unanticipated circumstances occur – the project’s cost and schedule will be affected. These changes and their cause could be interpreted by different stakeholders in various ways. So, there could be conflicts, disagreements and disputes on what portion of the cost and project schedule the contractor needs to be compensated for.

30 April 2021 Following the interruption to the tunnel conference scene caused by the pandemic, the RETC Conference is back and – Covid allowing – looks set to take place in Las Vegas on 13-16 June 2021

Robbins reborn
30 April 2021 After a brief period involving Chinese part-ownership, veteran TBM pioneer Lok Home has bought back his company to set the revived Robbins on a new course of growth. Julian Champkin spoke to him

Race to repair
30 April 2021 Numerous hydroelectric plants include headrace tunnels that are getting old and operate beyond their originally-envisaged design life. Canada-based Dean Brox of Dean Brox Consulting discusses the importance of inspections and maintenance for hydroelectric tunnels

March 2021


Collaboration, communication and competence updated
25 March 2021 The following article by Bob Ibell, founder and director of London Bridge Associates, is based on a past Harding Lecture and has been updated by the author in celebration of the BTS 50th Anniversary

National grids
25 March 2021 Utility grid projects bring a variety of tunnelling challenges. Report by Patrick Reynolds