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  Date 2015
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BTS D&C course
30 December, 2015
Alex Conacher attended the BTS Tunnel Design and Construction Course in June this year for a weeklong crash course in tunnelling

Improved safety measures in road tunnels for people with reduced mobility
30 December, 2015
Having previously examined (in the August issue of Tunnels and Tunnelling International) what constitutes a person with reduced mobility in terms of a road tunnel evacuation, outlined the legal position on provision, and highlighted the very real barriers disabled person’s face in tunnels, Mouchel’s Peter Bishop and Imtech Traf c & Infra UK’s Ali Mahdmina now turn their atttention to the design, procedural and technological solutions that can improve and enhance the current position

Woodhead Pass Tunnel
28 December, 2015
The UK is contemplating the pros and cons of constructing the world’s longest road tunnel. Not yet named, it would be an improvement of the A628 connection between Sheffield and Manchester, located in the Peak District, a hilly National Park in the North of England.

Social media success for National Tunnelling Day
18 December, 2015
GREAT BRITAIN – The first UK National Tunnelling Day was held on 3 December 2015. Launched by the British Tunnelling Society Young Members, the “aim was to engage people from all walks of life about the cool and interesting tunnelling projects that are in the UK” according to former BTSYM chair Eoin O’Murchu.

Ground freezing expert honoured by university
17 December, 2015
USA – Joseph Sopko will be recognised as a Distinguished Alumnus by Michigan State University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Sopko, who is director of ground freezing for Moretrench, attended the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and received a Bachelor of Science (1980), a Master of Science (1983) and a Ph.D. (1990) in Civil Engineering. He has since devoted his career to specialising in ground freezing technology.

Strabag set to complete Züblin takeover
11 December, 2015
AUSTRIA – Contractor Strabag has announced that it expects to agree terms for a complete takeover of Züblin. Currently the majority shareholder, it announced that an informal agreement has already been reached covering the core requirements of the deal. Although all parties have agreed not to disclose the specifics at this time.

Underground space group formed in the UK
11 December, 2015
GREAT BRITAIN – A new group for the intelligent use of underground space has been formed in London. Billing itself as the ‘Multi-disciplinary Activity Group for the Use of Underground Space’ (Mag2us), it has held two meetings since its formation in September.

Stonehenge Tunnel enjoys heritage support
11 December, 2015
GREAT BRITAIN – A film has been released promoting the benefits of a tunnel to bury the A303 road; the route that passes Stonehenge, Britain’s most famous Neolithic monument. According to local newspaper the Salisbury Journal, Historic England, the National Trust and English Heritage produced the film.

Acciona-led JV named preferred proponent for Site C civil works
03 December, 2015
CANADA – BC Hydro has selected Peace River Hydro Partners as the preferred proponent for the Site C main civil works contract, it announced November 25. Peace River Hydro Partners include Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc., Petrowest Corporation and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.

International Tunnelling Association Awards
02 December, 2015
INTERNATIONAL - The ITA awarded its inaugural Tunnelling Awards on November 19, in Hagerbach Switzerland.

Testing starts on Big Bertha
01 December, 2015
USA – Commissioning of the SR 99 TBM continues as Seattle Tunnel Partners prepares to resume mining. STP began testing machine components earlier this month as crews continued welding pieces and reconnecting hoses and cables.

Roadheader breaks through on Confederation Line
01 December, 2015
CANADA – One of the roadheaders mining the Downtown Tunnel on Ottawa’s Confederation Line completed final bench excavation in Lyon Station, it was announced on 25 November.

Tunnelling completed on Evergreen Line
01 December, 2015
CANADA – Officials announced that tunnelling has completed on the Evergreen line in Vancouver on 27 November, although previous delays will push back the opening to 2017.

Mouchel appoints new director
27 November, 2015
GREAT BRITAIN – Mouchel has appointed Richard Crossley as its senior technical director for transport planning. Crossley joins from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff where he led transportation planning services in the Middle East. Crossley brings with him over 40 years of experience within the transportation consultancy sector, including six years with the Department of Transport.

Islamic State tunnel network discovered
27 November, 2015
IRAQ – The recently liberated city of Sinjar in northern Iraq has yielded a network of tunnels. Reportedly built by Islamic State militants, the longest of the 30 or 40 tunnels in the network run for “several hundreds of metres”. The tunnels were outfitted with sleeping quarters, electricity, sandbags, medicine and copies of the Koran. Tools for bomb making were also discovered.

NFM and Mu¨hlha¨user to collaborate
26 November, 2015
FRANCE/SWITZERLAND – Manufacturers NFM and Mühlhäuser have signed an agreement to allow Mühlhäuser to work with European and selected international customers of the pair.

Operations for designers
25 November, 2015
Andy Evans, immediate past chair the Road Tunnel Operator Association (RTOA), discusses tunnel operations for designers of tunnel life safety systems designers

Spring to action
25 November, 2015
An overview of works required for Thomson Line contract T208 as TBM launch completes. Alex Conacher speaks with the John Holland Leighton Asia JV

Tunnel dreams
25 November, 2015
IT'S A HOT Sunday evening in late June. I've got an assignment overdue for work; lectures starting early the following morning, and instead of thinking about either I'm heading to the Warwick University Campus Bar. It's good to be back in further education.

Is tunnel ventilation sustainable?
25 November, 2015
Tunnel ventilation can consume substantial power, which can amount to several megawatts, as well as requiring expensive structural space and electrical facilities. Although sustainability is now recognised to be a key goal for infrastructure development, its application to tunnel ventilation is still in its infancy. This article by Fathi Tarada, secretary of the World Road Association PIARC, and MD of Mosen summarises some key lessons from the forthcoming PIARC report on sustainable road operations, and draws some examples from practice