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. In Continuous State of Change 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires . 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. Cheaper.

schedule.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. 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 .

103' 53' 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires . standards Var SB NB 53' Varies 80' .Road Tunnel Types 93' +/20' 22’ Different configurations. technologies.

Seattle 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS ~17m OD for Four (4) Lanes 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires .Tunnel Size Alaskan Way.

Several 3 Lane Roads in ~14m Tunnels 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires .Now.

3m clearance 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires .6 m diameter for 4.small vehicles only. possibly ultimately. more lanes!! .A86 in Paris 11.

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 .

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 .Mount Baker Ridge Seattle  Stacked-Drift  Innovative Incremental construction .

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 .

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 .Sequential Excavation Method (SEM)   Low Mobilization time & cost Rate of Advance slower than TBM but sometimes competitive in total project time Various.

Técnicas 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 .

Mechanized Tunnelling.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. 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 .

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 .Selection Between EPB and Slurry • Not an Easy Question • Past Years: Slurry for Sands.

Double Shield 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires .Gripper .Tunnelling in Rock Drill and Blast Tunnelling Methods Partial-Face TBM Full-Face TBM .

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 .•Drill and Blast Technology Has Improved Extending Range of Drill & Blast Projects •Almost no mobilization time.

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 .

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 .Conventional vs.

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 .

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 . tunnel location.Conclusions Construction methods and technology depend on geology.

and inexpensive labour) 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires . Conventional tunnelling for short tunnels and variable conditions (geometry. geology and political flexibility.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.

Mucho Gracias 2nd Seminario Internacional de Tuneles y aplicaciones ITS 26 de Marzo de 2010 – Buenos Aires .

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