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Current Refinements
  Content Type Features
  Date 2008
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Tunnelling for the new Lenihan outlet
24 November, 2008
NAT 2008 Student Prize finalist, Shawna Von Stockhausen, of Hatch Mott MacDonald, describes the construction of a tunnel through Franciscan Mélange in California, for the Lenihan Dam Outlet Project

Circle of challenges
24 November, 2008
Stages 4 & 5 of Singapore’s Circle Line are due to commence operation from 2010. T&TI reports on progress achieved to date and some of the challenges engineers have faced during construction

Risky business?
19 November, 2008

Slide solution for Barcelona's Line 9
27 October, 2008
Rolando Justa, tunnel department director for Acciona Infraestructuras, describes the curved slide of a 12m diameter Herrenknecht EPBM and its back-up equipment through the open cut Sagrera Station box on Barcelona’s new metro Line 9, in Spain

Hindhead hit
27 October, 2008
The A3 Hindhead twin bore tunnels, under construction in England, are taking forward the development of permanent SCL. Report and photos by contributing editor Patrick Reynolds

It’s not all bad...
24 October, 2008

Powering in Portland
29 September, 2008
Slurry excavation is progressing for the East Side CSO, in Portland. T&TNA recently visited the site to discuss the impressive advance rates being achieved

Easing Manhattan’s friction
26 September, 2008
The complex subsurface interchanges of lower Manhattan’s Subway lines are currently being restructured to remove a tangled legacy of “friction”. At the centre of this scheme is the new Fulton Street Transit Center. Technical journalist Adrian Greeman reports

Sey Cap saga gains impetus
23 September, 2008
In Canada, the saga continues over the fate of the twin water tunnels underneath Grouse Mountain as part of Metro Vancouver’s Seymour-Capilano scheme (T&TNA May p5). The client recently issued a request for qualification to contractors to finish work on the tunnels following the termination of its contract with the Bilfinger Berger /Fru-Con JV. Meanwhile, the contractors have issued a lawsuit and lien against the client, its engineers Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) and local municipality landowner, the Corporation of the District of North Vancouver,.T&TNA contacted Metro Vancouver to discuss some of the statements made in the contractors’ claim and plans for moving the tunnel project forwards. A spokesman would not comment on legal matters - but was more forthcoming on plans to re-let the balance of the contract, saying that a request for qualification had been issued to 15 possible replacement contractors, with a response expected as T&TNA went to press. Following this, a request for proposal will be issued to qualified bidders, and it is hoped works could resume as early as mid-November. Although Metro Vancouver refused to be drawn on budget, it did release a list of companies in receipt of plans relating to the prequalification (including subcontractors): Frontier-Kemper Constructors; Flatiron Construction; McNally International; SELI; Kiewit & Sons; Dragados; Strabag; Obayashi; Kenny Construction; JF Shea; Balfour Beatty; Traylor Bros; Collings Johnston; SAK; Procon Mining & Tunnelling; Tyam Construction; Sandwell Engineering; Karyo Edelman; Vancouver Reg Construction; Pennecon Heavy Civil; Jewel Holdings; C&M Mcnally Engineering; NAC Constructors; and Roktek Services.When asked about the termination of Bilfinger Berger’s contract and the contractors’ claims of hazardous conditions, T&TNA was told that Metro Vancouver: “disputes so-called “hazardous” conditions exist and has a plan that includes rock bolt and mesh, shotcrete, and, where appropriate, steel sets to manage ground conditions.” When pressed as to whether these recommendations constituted a revised design, and how they differ from the prevailing ground support recommendations - together with a request to clarify its position of refusing to recognise the conditions, but then seemingly acknowledge them with a plan - the Metro Vancouver spokesman stated: “As this is likely to be the subject of court deliberations, I decline to comment.”T&TNA also contacted Bilfinger Berger for comment and received clarification from Contracts Manager, John Penner, who said Bilfinger Berger claim: “Significant damages against Metro Vancouver, the engineer HMM and the landowner The District of North Vancouver”. These claims cover losses, costs and expenses suffered by Bilfinger Berger from the time of the tender, in 2004, to present. Claims for specific unpaid labour and materials that have been physically incorporated into the lands to date, amounting to Can$22,549,579, have been secured by Claims of the Builders Lien and placed against title to the lands.T&TNA asked Bilfinger Berger why its original bid was so much lower than the other two bids at the time and was told: “In 2004, Metro Vancouver and its engineers estimated the cost of the Twin Tunnels project at roughly Can$100 million. Bilfinger Berger submitted its tender for the project in August 2004 at Can$100 million, based on the tender documents, which state that all risks unknown, and more adverse than those contained in the geotechnical report forwarded to bidders, are accepted by Metro Vancouver.”There have been rumours that Bilfinger Berger used the unsafe ground and refusal to change working practices, as proposed by the client, as a means to get out of an unprofitable contract. When T&TNA put this to Penner, he responded: “The decision to stop work was a safety issue. Bilfinger Berger was at all times ready, willing and able to continue the work, but only once a safe and viable design was provided by Metro Vancouver.” Penner says that since work stopped in January, Bilfinger Berger has repeatedly advised Metro Vancouver that any design must take into account the risk of rockfalls, running ground, rock bursts and other manifestations of unexpected overstress rock failures. The client however, has refused to acknowledge the occurrence of rock bursts and has not provided a design solution to meet the safety needs of the workers, which Bilfinger Berger maintains is a contractual requirement. Instead, Penner said the client had provided a “range of recommendations, not a design to complete the tunnel”.Bilfinger Berger has garnered support from unions representing workers at the jobsite. Business managers of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, Construction & Specialised Workers’ Union Local 1611 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 213 wrote a joint letter to the Greater Vancouver Water District on May 30. T&TNA obtained a copy of the letter, which says: “It is ludicrous to suggest that [Bilfinger Berger], with its expertise in engineering and its safe completion of many similar projects, is unable to adequately evaluate and manage the safety of the Twin Tunnels project.” The letter went on to say that after workers were injured and exposed to unsafe conditions, the contractor made, “the correct decision to temporarily suspend the work pending a review and analysis of the rock behaviour”. The letter continues: “Inexplicably, instead of commending Bilfinger Berger for their commitment to safety, the GVRD [Greater Vancouver Regional District] has cancelled the entire contract.” In closing, the letter asks GVRD to review its decision to terminate the Bilfinger Berger contract.

Bribane’s quiet achiever nears end
23 September, 2008
Tunnelling successfully under a heritage-listed jail was one of several interesting challenges for Brisbane’s Boggo Road Busway Alliance (BRBA). Gavin Bradford, project manager for Stage Two of the Alliance, describes the project to date

Bright future for Australasia
23 September, 2008
ATS journal editor, David Lees, gives an overview of the booming tunnelling workload mooted for Australasia in the coming years

We’re all gonna die...
23 September, 2008

Collaborations for complex casting
13 August, 2008
The equipment adopted for the in-situ casting of tunnel linings can have a major impact on overall project cost and time schedules. Amanda Foley, deputy editor, looks at three recent case histories

The Arrowhead Tunnels project
13 August, 2008
Following the British Tunnelling Society’s Annual General Meeting, Brian Fulcher, project director for Shea-Kenny Joint Venture, and Mike Bell, resident engineer for Hatch Mott MacDonald, described overcoming difficult ground conditions and water pressures with two hybrid hard rock TBMs for the Arrowhead Tunnels in Southern California, US

The first ever vaccum segment erector
13 August, 2008

Core drilling for HK’s HATS Stage 2A
13 August, 2008
Shteryo Lyomov, associate professor with the Dept of Drilling, Oil & Gas Production, at the University of Mining & Geology, Sofia, discusses directional coring techniques used as part of the HATS Stage 2A ground investigation works, in Hong Kong

An introduction to International Arbitration
11 August, 2008
International arbitration proceedings is an area of contract law that once involved in, will seldom be forgotten. T&TI’s contracts and disputes correspondent, Paul Cullinan of Plus 3 Consultants, overviews this potentially bruising process for the ill prepared

Copenhagen plans Cityringen
11 August, 2008
Cityringen is the next, entirely underground, phase of Copenhagen’s metro. With tenders due to be called next year, contributing editor, Patrick Reynolds, recently caught up with the project team

Unforeseen... really?
08 August, 2008

IStrucE Gold Medal for Glover
07 July, 2008