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Tunnel Construction Methods: Conventional vs Mechanized

March 26, 2010

Prof. Andre P. Assis, PhD


(ITACET / UnB)

Harvey W. Parker, PhD


(ITA / Consultant)

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Huge Diverse Demand for Tunnels Worldwide


Motorways & Ring Roads to reduce traffic congestion Long and/or Deep Road Tunnels to connect populations By-Pass Historic, Cultural, Scenic, & Congested Locations Underground Parking Mass Transit Systems Public Utilities & Flood Control City Center Revitalization

Construction Method is Affected by the Purpose and Numerous other Factors, Especially the Geology
2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Two Basic Categories

Factors to Consider in Selection of Construction Method


Geology
Rock or Soil Mountain or River Crossing

Technical Feasibility

Urban or Rural Number of Lanes ~ Tunnel Size Length Safety & Environmental Constraints

Cost & Schedule


2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Schedule & Cost Risk Tolerance

Recent Tunnel Engineering Advances Improve Selection of Construction Method


Better Exploration & Understanding of Ground Behaviour Ground/Groundwater Pressures Evaluation & Control of Induced Movement
Minimize Potential for Damage

Modern Technology Results in Tunnels Better, Faster, Cheaper, Safer Quality Mechanization of the construction process

New Generation of Pressurized TBMs


TBMs now routinely used in ground conditions considered inappropriate a few years ago

Innovations Provide our Industry with More Choices than just the traditional Choice Between Conventional vs Mechanized. In Continuous State of Change

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Construction Methods and Technology


Geology & GeoHydrology Priority of surface space
Long term (type of infrastructure) Short term (during construction)

Type, cross-section size and length of the tunnel Location and surrounding environment of the tunnel. Potential for Public Disruption Local tradition and experience, schedule, type of contract and contractual stability Cost & Schedule
Must Predict Productivity Labor & Material Costs
2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Evaluate on Risk Management Principles

Select Con

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Road Tunnel Types


93' +/20' 22

Different configurations, technologies, standards

Var

SB

NB

53'

Varies 80' - 103'

53'

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Tunnel Size

Alaskan Way, Seattle


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Now, Several 3 Lane Roads in ~14m Tunnels

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

A86 in Paris
11.6 m diameter for 4, possibly ultimately, more lanes!! - small vehicles only, 3m clearance

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Tunnelling in Soft Ground (Soils) Conventional CC Cut-and-Cover Immersed & Other Conventional Tunnelling Tunnelling Methods
2nd

Mechanized Tunnelling Special Methods

Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Cut-and-Cover vs Tunnel

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Cut-and-Cover
Difficult to build from surface Urban constraints (alignments defined by demand and interferences) Cost of relocation Construction costs Cost of Public Disruption

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Door Frame Tunnel in Metro Brasilia

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

"Submerged" Cut-and-Cover: Immersed Tunnels

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Mount Baker Ridge Seattle


Stacked-Drift Innovative Incremental construction - small parallel drifts (like barrel staves) Inside diameter 19m Five through lanes plus pedestrian, bike Ventilation and life safety systems
2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Conventional Tunnelling

Tunnelling in Soil
Conventional

Tunnelling

Sequential Excavation Methods (SEM)

Mechanized

Tunnelling

Full-Face Excavation Open-face Pressured-face TBM

Door

Frame or Special Construction

Challenge: Stability & Settlement


2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Sequential Excavation Method (SEM)


Low Mobilization time & cost Rate of Advance slower than TBM but sometimes competitive in total project time Various, flexible shapes possible Quality & Workmanship is Crucial Practice now accepted as safe but image is not universally good Transitions / off-ramps easier

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Tcnicas Alternativas: Ground Congelamento Improvement and Reinforcement

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Mechanized Tunnelling

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

General Mechanized Selection Flow Chart

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Source: ITA Working Group 14, Mechanized Tunnelling, 2000

Pressurized-Face TBMs: EPB, Slurry and Mix Shield

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

EPB vs Slurry

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Selection Between EPB and Slurry


Not an Easy Question
Past Years: Slurry for Sands; EPB for Silts & Clays
Must know geology and conduct soil tests Now newer Conditioning Agents injected at the face extend the range of both methods of construction Disk Cutters extend use of both for Boulders & Variable Rock

Slurry TBMs commonly used for higher water pressures


Careful not to create a blow to surface

Face stability is generally more robust with EPB

Other Issues
Prediction of Rate of Advance Abrasion and/or Clogging=maintenance or repair in Interventions Plant Size & Muck disposal issues
Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires 2nd

Tunnelling in Rock
Drill and Blast

Tunnelling Methods

Partial-Face TBM Full-Face TBM - Gripper - Double Shield

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Drill and Blast Technology Has Improved Extending Range of Drill & Blast Projects

Almost no mobilization time. Often Still Used for Shorter Projects with variable ground & changing cross section in remote areas without power

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Mechanized Tunnelling in Rock

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Challenge: Cutting Tools and Power

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Combined Methods: Conventional and Mechanized Tunnelling

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Conventional vs. Mechanized Tunnelling



2nd

Good for Geometric flexibility Adaptable to broad range of ground conditions Temporary exposure to unsupported ground Contractual flexibility Lower mobilization & plant costs Suitable for political risk or lack of contractual stability Lower costs for short tunnels & where labor is inexpensive Often slow but not expensive

Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

New Technology is adaptable to more ground conditions Less disturbance to the remaining ground Better and more regular quality (industrial process) Mechanization better for workers Safer because generally under protective shield Faster rate of advance Significant mobilization & Plant increasing Cost & Schedule Costs and schedule more favorable for longer tunnels

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Final Remarks
Significant increase of the demand of underground structures everywhere Two Basic Issues are
Technical Feasibility Cost & Schedule

Underground structure feasibility depends on global cost analyses (construction costs + indirect benefits) Road Tunnels demand a large cross section
Trend is toward larger diameters
2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Conclusions
Construction methods and technology depend on geology, tunnel location, size, local tradition etc.
A large number of factors must be considered Not just a decision between conventional & mechanized

Combination of mechanized and sequential excavation methods or Special Methods may be beneficial

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Conclusions
Mechanized tunnelling for long tunnels and urban areas (industrial process, quality and control of costs and schedule)
Trend is for greater innovation giving greater applicability and use of mechanized in the future.

Conventional tunnelling for short tunnels and variable conditions (geometry, geology and political flexibility, and inexpensive labour)

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires

Mucho Gracias

2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 Buenos Aires