Panama finishes tunnelling

20 March 2013

Marta, the TBM boring the southbound drive of Panama Metro’s Line 1, made her final breakthrough on Saturday, March 16 at Carmen Station.

The contractor, an FCC-led consortium with Odebrecht, launched the Herrenknecht TBM with a 9.7m diameter on January 23, 2012. Completing a 3.9km drive, the TBM placed 2,361 precast concrete rings for the lining, according to El Metro de Panama.

Another TBM, named Carolina, completed the 2.8km northbound tunnel drive on December 19, 2012, having launched in June 2012. Carolina also broke through at Carmen Church station, and installed 1,709 rings. Along the route, Marta and Carolina combined extracted approximately 800,000cu meters of spoil, and completed a total of 6.7km.

The President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, with his wife, the Honorable Mrs. Marta de Martinelli, his daughter Carolina Martinelli, (the two for whom the TBMs were named) and Minister for Canal Affairs and Executive Secretary of the Panama Metro Ing Roberto Roy, attended the breakthrough and recognized the work of more than 300 workers that have been on the job for the last 14 months.

The new metro line will have 12 stations, six underground, five aerial and one open cut.