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World tunnel

congress 2014
May 9 th to 15 th, 2014
Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Tunnels in Brazil
Past, Present and Future
Hugo Cssio Rocha, President of CBT-ABMS

Message from
Organizing Committee
Welcome to the World Tunnel Congress 2014.
On behalf of the WTC Organizing Committee,
I would like to thank you for all of your support
to make this event possible. We are pleased to
report that we have full sponsorship and that the
exhibition booths have been sold out for months.
Nearly 400 papers have been approved, so we feel
confident there will be stimulating presentations
for all our over 1.200 participants. This will be a
great opportunity for us to reconnect with the
international community, do some networking,
make new contacts, and exchange experiences.
The Organizing Committee wishes you a truly
memorable experience here in Iguassu Falls.
And, of course, we all look forward to socialising
during the Welcome Reception and Gala dinner,
coffee breaks, and meals. You wont want to miss
the natural beauty of Iguassu Falls!
After the Congress, you have several technical
visits at your disposal. You can tour the Itaipu
Hydroelectric Power Plant, or you can head north
to visit Porto Maravilha rehabilitation project
downtown Rio de Janeiro. Or, see Rios subway
system and go see So Paulos ring road and
downtown subway. Brazil presents all the promise
and challenges of tropical geography and geology.
We trust you will come away with new insights
and ideas. Your presence is sure to benefit many.
So, once again, welcome to the World Tunnel
Congress 2014 here in Brazil!
We are happy to have you here.
Tarcsio B. Celestino
Chaiman of the Organizing Committee

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

Message from
On behalf of ITA-AITES, it is my utmost pleasures to great all the delegates as well as the honourable
guests of the World Tunnel Congress 2014 and the 40th General Assembly. It is a pleasure to see that in our
Associations 40th year anniversary our activity level within ITA-AITES is very high and at the same time the
global tunnelling market seems to be bigger than ever. It gives me confidence for the future and that our
Association will continue to be an important global player.
WTC2014 will be the second to be hosted in South America and the second in Brazil. After a memorable WTC
and General Assembly in 1998 in So Paulo, we are this year looking forward to go to Iguassu.
The main theme of the congress is Tunnels for a better life. Since ITAs creation in 1974, this motto has
been important for us. From the origin, tunnels have always been built to improve the life of people all
around the world, through tunnels transporting water, sewage, or transporting people in trains, by cars or
in metropolis urban transport.
In South America and especially in Brazil, the mega cities demands more and improved mass urban transport
systems, and also high speed railway lines to connect the constant increasing cities.
The underground is also used in exploiting natural resources, either through mining but also utilising
renewable energies. As we see an increasing relationship between the mining and tunnelling industry ITA
decided to dedicate this year open session to the theme Underground Space and Natural Resources, which
I hope you will find of interest.
The WTC will also be the place for the ITA General Assembly and all the ITA associated meetings in the
Working Groups and Committees; I do hope that you will be able to actively participate and share your
I am sure you will attend many technical sessions during the WTC to learn about the projects and technical
development around the world but equally important is the networking and to meet old and new friends.
So I encourage you to visit the exhibition and attend the social events.
I am looking forward to meet you all and I do hope that all of the 71 ITA Member Nations will be able to
participate and that we together can celebrate the 40th anniversary of our association.
Looking forward to seeing you in Iguassu.
Best regards,
Sren Degn Eskesen
ITA President 2013-2016

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Message from
CBT - Brazilian Tunnelling Committee
Tunnelling technique and natural beauty in Iguassu Falls
The international tunnelling community arrives in Brazil at a very special
moment for our infrastructure. The country is experiencing a period of
renewed investments. There are more than 42 kilometres of tunnels
under construction. In every region of the country, ongoing underground
works aim at improving the cities infrastructure. Besides, more than 150
kilometres of tunnelling works must start soon. The figures show that Brazil
is investing in infrastructure and that underground works are now part of
list of feasible solutions for the needs of Brazilian cities. As it happens in
many countries, Brazil is realising that underground works are, most of the
times, the most appropriate solution.
Some of the main ongoing projects are Fortaleza Metro, the expansion of
So Paulo Metro (around 70 kilometres by 2016), Porto Maravilha in Rio de
Janeiro, the expansion of Line 4 of Rio Metro and the north section of Ring
Road in So Paulo (14 tunnels with extension of 11,8 kilometres). There are
also some projects being analysed, such as Curitiba Metro, Porto Alegre
Metro, Belo Horizonte Metro, the high speed train which will connect
Campinas, So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the immersed tunnel between
Santos and Guaruj, which bidding will be opened in the first semester of
And it is now that the World Tunnel Congress 2014 takes place, when the
attention of the whole world in turned to Brazil. However, the technical
experience is not the only attractive of this event. There is also the dazzling
scenario offered by Iguassu Falls. Located in the triple border among
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the city enchants visitors by its natural and
exuberant landscape. The falls and the huge diversity of fauna and flora are
some of its most important attractions. So much so that Iguassu National
Park was Brazils first Conservation Unit to be designated a World Natural
Heritage by UNESCO in 1986.
The Brazilian Tunnelling Committee (CBT) is glad to receive you!
Welcome to Iguassu Falls. Welcome to WTC2014.
Hugo C. Rocha
President of CBT

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

Executive Organising Committee
Tarcsio Barreto Celestino - Chairman of the Congress
Hugo Cssio Rocha - Vice Chairman
Jairo Pascoal Jnior - Secretary-General
Edson Peev - Treasurer
Akira Koshima - Sales & Marketing
Olivier Vion - ITA-AITES Executive Director
Rick Lovat - ITA-AITES Executive Council Member
Andr Pacheco de Assis - President of the ABMS

Local Advisory Board (ABMS)

Argimiro A. Ferreira
Francis Bogossian
Sussumu Niyama

International Advisory Board

Sebastiano Pelizza - Chairman
Oscar A. Vard - Vice Chairman
William Brian Fulcher

Scientific Committee
Arsenio Negro Jnior - Chairman
Werner Bilfinger - Vice Chairman
Marlisio Oliveira Cecilio Jr. - Secretary

Adam Bezuijen

Claudio Casarin

Giulia Viggiani

Akira Koshima

Christos Tsatsanifos

Hans de Wit

Alain Guilloux

David Oliveira

Hector Salazar Bonilla

Alejandra Paulina Villouta Romero

Davorin Kolic

Heinrich K. Heinz

Alejo Sfriso

Donald Lamont

Heinz Ehrbar

Alexandre R. A. Gomes

Edson Peev

Hugo Cssio Rocha

Amanda Elioff

Edgard Bard

Jacques Robert

Andr Pacheco de Assis

Eduard Vorster (T E B Vorster)

Jairo Pascoal Jr.

Anna Lewandowska

Eivind Grv

Jamie Standing

Antonio Airton Bortolucci

Eloi Angelo Palma Filho

Jinxiu Yan

Antonio Domingues de Figueiredo

Eraldo Luporini Pastore

Jonathan Baber

Antonio Samaniego

Eric Leca

Jorge Almeida e Souza

Antonio Vianna da Fonseca

Erik Stefan Bernard

Jose Adelmar Mello Franco

Argimiro Alvarez Ferreira

Fabrice Emeriault

Jzsef Mecsi

Arnold Dix

Felipe Gobbi

Juan Carlos Pozo

Arsenio Negro Junior

Fernando Leyser Gonalves

Klass Jan Bakker

Benjamim Celada Tamames

Fernando Olavo

Keh-Jian Shou (Albert)

Buddhima Indraratna

Francis Fernando R. Stucchi

Lars Babendererde

Carlos Manoel Nieble

Flavio Massayuki Kuwajima

Luis Eduardo Sozio

Carlos S. Oteo Mazo

Francisco Ribeiro Neto

Luis Valenzuela

Csar Sagaseta Millan

Gabriel Auvinet

Luiz Antonio Bressani

Charles W. W. Ng

Georg Anagnostou

Luiz Felipe Meirelles Coelho Rocha

Christian Ingerslev

Giacomo Re

Luiz Guilherme de Mello

Chungsik YOO

Gino Rivera

Luiz Vaz

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Makoto Namba

Pekka Srkk

Mandy Korff

Peter-Michael Mayer

Manuel Matos Fernandes

Ricardo Nicolau del Roure

Marco Aurlio Abreu Peixoto da Silva

Robert Galler

Marco Barla

Roberto Gonzalez Izquierdo

Marcos Massao Futai

Roberto Terzariol

Maria Ceclia Guazelli

Sergio Nertan Alves de Brito

Markus Thewes

Sergio Fontoura

Marlsio Oliveira Ceclio Jr.

Sren Degn Eskesen

Michael G. Francis

Stefano Aversa

Michael Kawadas

Tarcsio Barreto Celestino

Michel Deffayet

Tiago Ern

Michel Van Sint Jan

Tiago Gerheim Souza Dias

Michael Tonnesen

Ulrich Klotz

Mitsutaka Sugimoto

Vaclav Vesely

Mostafa Sharifzadeh

Vinicius da Mota Wedekin

Neil Taylor

Victor Henrique Lon

Nicola Della Valle

Waldemar Hachich

Nick Shirlaw

Werner Bilfinger

P.L.Richard Pang

Yun Bai

Pal Bla Kocsonya

Paulo Roberto C. Cella
Paulo Ivo Queiroz
Paulo Jos Rocha de Albuquerque
Pedro Frana


The ITAAITES World Tunnel Congress 2014 will be held at
the Bourbon Cataratas Convention & SPA Resort, Iguassu
Falls, Paran State, Brazil from May 09th to 15th, 2014.
Bourbon Cataratas Convention & SPA Resort is located at
Rodovia das Cataratas, Km. 2,5.
Further details about the Hotel available at:

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

Tunnels in Brazil
Past, Present and Future
Hugo Cssio Rocha, President of CBT-ABMS

1. introduction
Development of the Brazilian tunnelling industry began in the second half of the 19th century with tunnelling in rock.
At this stage, only three centuries following the start of the Portuguese colonization and just a few decades following
Independence, the entire work was planned and executed by foreign engineers. However, experience in projects and
underground construction began to develop very rapidly among local professionals. Since those days there have been
many changes in the tunnelling industry market.

2. Background
19th Century
The first tunnel excavated in Brazil, around 1860, would probably have been a small tunnel excavated in rock at the
famous Unio and Indstria Highway close to the city of Trs Rios, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with the exception of
the mining tunnels at the city of Ouro Preto, Mina da Passagem at the city of Mariana and the early excavations at the
Morro Velho mine for extracting gold.
The first railroad tunnels in Brazil were opened around 1860. But the most important engineering work at the time was
the long series of 15 tunnels that became known as Section 2 of the Dom Pedro II Railroad, at Japeri - Barra do Pira,
a line on the coastal mountains of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Dom Pedro II was the Emperor of Brazil at the time and
frequently visited the construction sites.
Figure 1 (by Marc Ferrez) is a photograph taken during the Emperors visit on the day of the breakthrough of Tnel
Grande. This was one of the most notable engineering achievements in Brazil at the time: a wide gauge railroad of
around 400 metres in technically difficult conditions that required the excavation of 15 tunnels ranging in length from
25 to 2,238 metres, totalling 5,220 metres. Some were excavated in soil or decomposed rock, so that the arch was lined
in brickwork, while the others were in hard rock. They were all 4.2 metres wide, with a maximum height of 5.8 metres.
The highlight was the so-called Tnel Grande with 2,238 metres in length.
Still according to Silva Telles (2006), work began in 1858, but the
excavation of Tnel Grande was only concluded in June 1864, with
inauguration occurring only in December 1865. The tunnels in rock,
including Tnel Grande, were excavated using chisels, hammers and
gun powder. No mechanical drills existed at that time and dynamite
would only be invented in 1866.
Underground construction was very active at the time. The works
on the so-called Centre Line, from Rio de Janeiro (RJ) towards Belo
Horizonte (MG), began in 1865 and had 20 tunnels, the longest being
552 metres. Among all these tunnels, number 30, with 360 metres,
located in the Joo Ayres canyon in the Mantiqueira Mountain Ridge
deserved special attention because it was the hallmark of early
engineering concerns with the stability of the slopes in that area,
still an important problem nowadays.
In mentioned canyon, a cut with very high slopes was initially
constructed; later, it was converted into a tunnel to avoid railroad
blockages caused by constantly falling rocks. The transformation

Figure 1 - Visit of Emperor D. Pedro II to the

took place in 1901 and the arch was built in reinforced concrete the

breakthrough of Tnel Grande

oldest structure made of this material which can be reliably dated in

(M. Ferrez in Silva Telles, 2006)

Brazil, according to the author.

May 9th to 15th, 2014
Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

Between 1877 and 1879, the Navys stretch of the D. Pedro II Railroad was built in Rio de Janeiro. It was a short
stretch, with the excavation of two tunnels, 315 and 86 metres long, to cross the So Diogo Hill, running to the port.
The structure had two important novelties: the use of compressed air drill bits (the Ingersoll system powered by a
steam locomotive) and the use of dynamite, the Emperor himself detonating the first explosion (Telles 2006).
The introduction of dynamite led to a significant increase in underground construction. During the duplication of the
Dom Pedro II railroad, the second gallery of Tnel Grande was excavated in 11 months, while the first tunnel with the
same length had required seven years work.
Rio de Janeiro saw the construction of the oldest road tunnels in Brazil (Carvalho-2006): one at Rua Alice (formerly Rio
Comprido, concluded in 1887) and the Alaor Prata (the former Tnel Velho, concluded in 1891).
Another striking structure of this period was the railroad between Paranagu and Curitiba which traversed a region
of varying topography with 13 tunnels built between 1880 and 1884, excavated in rock and with a total length of
1,702 metres. The longest tunnels are the Roa Nova (429 m), the Boa Vista (250 m) and the Pico do Diabo (156 m).

20th Century
In the early 20th century, Brazilian engineers were in charge of
the main tunnelling works taking place in the country. The year
1904 saw the excavation of the second tunnel to Copacabana, in

Photo from the book

Tunnel (Figure 2).

For access to the port of Santos (in So Paulo), the MairinqueSantos stretch of the Sorocabana Railroad (formerly the So
Paulo Railway) was built between 1928 and 1937. The adverse
topographical conditions and the difficult geotechnical problems
required the excavation of several tunnels (31 in all, totalling
over 5 km), viaducts and bridges. Two of these bridges held the
world record at the time for their respective types of structure.

Figure 2 - Leme Tunnel - Rio de Janeiro

The tunnels never experienced major stability or maintenance problems. The cuts, on the other hand, took many
years to be stabilized, primarily because of the execution technique used, which did not take into consideration the
peculiarities of the residual soils in the tropical mountainous region. The scars of the landslides above the cuts can be
seen even today, since they expose the bare rock.
Figure 3 shows one of the
tunnels during the construction
period and a recent photo of the
location. Worthy of note are the
severe topographical conditions
and the highly dense tropical

Figure 3 One of the tunnels of the Sorocabana railroad under construction (Telles)
and a recent photo of the location


World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Tunnelling in Brazil, 2006

Rio de Janeiro, which became known as Tnel Novo or the Leme

This period witnessed the first road tunnel in the city of So Paulo, the
Nove de Julho tunnel, started in 1936 and concluded in 1938. In this
tunnel, the inverted excavation system was used in the Southern tunnel
portal (Figure 4).
The development of modern tunnel engineering in Brazil began in the
Photo from the book Tunnelling in Brazil, 2006

1950s and 1960s, with the planning and construction of the metro systems
in So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in addition to numerous road tunnels in
the latter city.
Between 1949 and 1954, the Paulo Afonso I HEPP (Hydroelectric Power
Plant) was built, the first with an underground power house designed
and built by Brazilian engineers. In the immediate surroundings the
Paulo Afonso II, III and IV HEPPs were subsequently built. The latter, built
between 1974 and 1978, became a milestone of Brazilian engineering,
with a cross-section of 22,6 metres x 25 m x 54 m (L/W/H). This was the first
power house cavern with overhead travelling crane beams fixed with rock
anchors instead of supported by pillars. It is also important to point out
the presence of several tunnels and shafts with rock anchors applied on
account of the systematic geological mapping of the walls.
Figure 4 - The Nove de Julho Tunnel

During the 1960s and 1970s, the works of large and important tunnels

in So Paulo

stood out, primarily in Rio de Janeiro. In the Copacabana district, the S

Freire Alvim (1960) and Major Vaz (1963) tunnels were concluded. Also in the 1960s, two of the citys largest tunnels
were opened to traffic: the Santa Brbara (1963) and the Rebouas (1967), as shown in Figure 5.
The year 1971 saw the conclusion of the tunnels linking the South Side with the Barra da Tijuca district (Jo, So
Conrado and Dois Irmos). Later, still in the 1970s, the Frei Caneca and Noel Rosa tunnels were concluded.
At the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, the construction
of the uphill carriageway of the Imigrantes Highway (which
links So Paulo to its coastline), saw the use for the first time
in Brazil of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM).
This work saw the construction of 11 tunnels excavated in
residual soils, weathered rock and hard rock, with a total

Photo from the book Tunnelling in Brazil, 2006

length of 3,890 metres (Figure 6).

Figure 5 the Rebouas Tunnel at its inauguration

Figure 6 Imigrantes Highway, Uphill Carriageway

(Carvalho 2006)

(So Paulo)
May 9th to 15th, 2014
Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


Still in the end of the 1960s work began on the North-South

Line, current Blue Line 1 of the So Paulo Metro, most of
it in Cut & Cover. The downtown stretch, however, was
excavated using an open face TBM shield. Four TBM shields
were used in the excavation. It was necessary to pressurise
Photo - Metro-SP

the excavation face using compressed air on various

stretches because of the high hydrostatic pressures on noncohesive soils (Figure 7).
NATM was also used in the 1970s to build the Ferrovia do
Ao between Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. 115

Figure 7 - Shield TBM - Bade used to excavate Line 1 of

tunnels were excavated totalling 75 km (Figure 8).

the So Paulo Metro (Photo - Metr-SP)

In the 1980s, several underground works for power generation stood out, such as
Tunnelling in Brazil, 2006

Photo from the book

the power house of the Serra da Mesa Plant (Figure 9) and the construction works of
the Green Line 2 of the So Paulo Metro, in which two tunnel boring machines were
used one with a closed face installing expanded concrete ring lining (Figure 10)
and the other with open face, in which bolted-on rings were used and urban road
tunnels in So Paulo.




the conclusion of the

Figure 8 Ferrovia do



Ao Tunnel





between So Paulo and

Santos (downhill carriageway) with three long tunnels
totalling 8,231 metres in length. Other highlights were the
duplication of the Ferno Dias Highway, the construction
of the Carvalho Pinto Highway in the state of So Paulo,
with six tunnels (totalling 3,100m) and the mini ring road
around the city of So Paulo. One must also draw attention
to other important works in the city of So Paulo, such as

Figure 9 Power house of the Serra da Mesa Plant

the two tunnels of the Ayrton Senna Road Complex, the

tunnels under the Pinheiros River (the Presidente Jnio Quadros and the Sebastio Camargo tunnels) and the tunnels

Photo - Metro-SP

under Avenida Santo Amaro (the Tribunal de Justia tunnels Figure 11).

Figure 10 Open face tunnel boring machines used on Green Line 2


World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

21st Century
A recent survey, without statistical approach, carried out by the Brazilian
Tunnelling Committee shows that there has been a notable increase
in underground construction for civil engineering purposes. The total
constructed volume in the 1990s was less than four million cubic metres.
Over the next five years, the volume leaped to over 11 million, a rate of
increase of more than 500%.
Greater demand for new tunnels came from the hydroelectric
construction industry. After the market rules were established for
electricity generation, valid for private investments, a large number of

Figure 11 Tribunal de Justia Tunnel

small HEPPs were built with associated underground works.

(So Paulo). Photo from the book

Tunnelling in Brazil, 2006)

This period also saw countless underground projects executed, especially

in large Brazilian cities where urban mobility is involved, of which it is important to stress:

Ring Road
The Mario Covas Ring Road is a 170-kilometre
long highway with two carriageways and six
lanes circling the metropolitan region of So
Paulo, the capital and the surrounding area.
It was planned to alleviate the intense traffic
of trucks and other heavy vehicles that used
the citys two urban freeways (Pinheiros and
Tiet), creating constant traffic jams in the
city of So Paulo.
Its construction was divided into four sections
(Figure 12). The first Western Section, with
32 km, has three pairs of tunnels totalling
5,700 metres, with cross-sections between 180
and 222 m2 and covers of up to 180 metres. It
was inaugurated in 2002. The 57-km Southern
Figure 12 Schematic Map of the So Paulo Ring Road,

Section was inaugurated in 2010, with the

with its stretches (source: Wikipedia)

Santa Luzia tunnel totalling 2,160 metres (two

tunnels, each 1,080 metres long). The Eastern

Section, extending for 43.5 km, should be inaugurated in 2014 and has three tunnels with a total extension of 5,700
metres. Construction on the 44-kilometre Northern Section, which started recently, will have seven twin tunnels,
totalling 13.2 km.

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


So Paulo Metro
The So Paulo Metro has maintained a constant investment
program over the last decade, with several lines under construction,
most of them underground. The works of Yellow Line 4 of the
So Paulo Metro, already inaugurated, were constructed entirely
Photo - herrenknecht-AG

underground, extending for 12.8 km. A modern EPB (Earth Pressure

Balanced) TBM was used to excavate the twin-track tunnels, 9.5
metres in diameter, in soft ground and soft rock. The TBM used
(Figure 13) showed notable technological advances incorporated
since the first TBM used in the 1970s.
Important advances have also been made in conventional
tunnelling construction, or NATM, in soft ground. Worthy of note

Figure 13 - Twin-track EPB TBM recently used

are the large cross-section stations of Yellow Line 4, and especially

by the So Paulo Metro on the Yellow Line 4

Alto do Ipiranga Station of Green Line 2 of the So Paulo Metro.


The latter was probably a record in terms of excavated

cross-section (302 m2) in soft ground with low cover. In
spite of the volume excavated and the low cover, the
settlements observed were significantly low (a maximum
of 15 millimetres), with minimal surface interference.
Currently, the conventional method (NATM) is being used
to build the extension of Yellow Line 4 in the Vila Sonia
Photo - Metro-SP

direction (West Side of So Paulo)

Figure 14 shows a photo of the full section of Alto do
Ipiranga Station, with only a primary shotcrete lining. It
is worth noting the dimensions of the stations section in
Figure 14 Alto do Ipiranga Station, fully excavated,
with primary lining in shotcrete

relation to the workers and the twin-track tunnel (for two

trains) in the background.

Line 5 of the So Paulo Metro is under construction

and will be completely underground. It will have a
total length of 11.8 kilometres, of which 1.5 km will
Photo - herrenknecht-AG

be excavated using the conventional method (NATM),

4.6 kilometres of single track tunnels by two EPB TBMs
6.9m (Figure 15 A) and 5.7 km of tunnels excavated
by a EPB TBM 10.6 m (Figure 16 A). There will be 11
stations in all, eight built in cut & cover and three by
the conventional method (NATM).
An important feature of this line is the intense use of EPB
TBMs for executing the tunnels and cut & cover excavation
for the stations. Several stations are being excavated
using multi-shafts with shotcrete support, a technique

Photo - Metro-SP

developed by Brazilian engineers and extensively applied.

Brooklin Station (Figure 15-B) is being built using five
secant shafts, each 30 metres in diameter.
Figure 16-A shows the portal of the EPB 10.5-metre


tunnel boring machine previously used on Yellow Line

Figure 15 (A) EPB tunnel boring machines 6.9 m of the

4, whose diameter was increased to adapt it to the

So Paulo Metro Line B) Brooklin Station in Multi-Shafts aerial view

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

technical requirements of Line 5. Figure

16 B shows a large-diameter shaft close to
buildings, for building the accesses to the
Photo - Metro-SP

Chcara Klabin station.

Line 6 of the So Paulo Metro, put out to
tender as a PPP (Public-Private Partnership)
and whose construction work should begin
in 2015, will connect the Brasilndia Station
(in the north-western part of the city) to So

Figure 16- (A) View of the Chacara Klabin Station

(B) Shaft Portal of the 10.5-m EPB Tunnel Boring Machine

Joaquim Station (downtown) with a total

length of 15.3 km. The tunnels will be excavated primarily using EPB TBMs with 10.5 metres. Conventional excavation
methods will be used on granitic rock sections and in deeper stations. Figure 17 shows a preliminary geological cross-

Photo - Metro-SP

section of Orange Line 6 of the So Paulo Metro.

Figure 17 - Preliminary Geological Cross-Section along Orange Line 6

Rio de Janeiro Metro

Line 4 of the Rio de Janeiro Metro was planned in the 1990s when the system was changed into a concession. The
objective of the original project was to connect the Barra da Tijuca region in the extreme South of the city, to Botafogo
Station, connecting the northern and southern sides of the city, cutting through the downtown area. Since the 1990s,
Line 1 has been successively extended southwards, through Copacabana and Ipanema, arriving at the General Osrio
Station (Figure 18).
New studies showed the importance of connecting
Barra da Tijuca and Ipanema, resulting in the alteration
to the original alignment of Line 1. Important property
development projects have sprung up in Barra da Tijuca
in recent years. Highly congested avenues are currently
the only possible connections to the downtown area, and
journeys can take up to two hours to cover 28 kilometres.
The new alignment of Line 4 will connect General Osrio
Station, in Ipanema, to Jardim Ocenico, the station in
Barra da Tijuca. The line will be totally underground, 14
Figure 18 General Osrio Station Rio de Janeiro Metro

kilometres long, and will have six new stations.

The tunnels between General Osrio and Gvea stations, through Ipanema (Southern Section, Figure 19), densely builtup areas, will be excavated using an EPB TBM 11.53m (Figure 20A).

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


Between Gvea Station and Jardim Ocenico (Western Section), in the sections in rock, the construction process being
employed is conventional D&B (Figure 20B). In Figure 20 B one can see the detail of the diamond-shaped cut of the
tunnel breakthrough in rock on a densely urbanized section.

Photo - Odebrecht

Photo - herrenknecht-AG

Figure 19 - Southern Section of Line 4 of the Rio de Janeiro Metro (Dept. of Transport, Rio-2011)

Figure 20-A. EPB Tunnel Boring Machine mixed face of the Rio Metro. (B) Breakthrough without explosives in hard rock

Fortaleza (Cear) Metro Line 3 - East

Line 3 East of the Fortaleza Metro, in its early stages
of construction, will connect the downtown area
to the southeast of the city. The tunnels will be
excavated using four 6.9 m Mixed Face EPB TBMs
recently acquired by the government of the State
of Cear.
All 12 stations will be built using cut & cover system,
Photo - Robbins

given the favourable condition of local physiography.


An important aspect is the need to pressurize the TBM

so as to minimize surface impacts on account of the
thick sand layers found in the region. Figure 21 shows
a photo of one of the EPB tunnel boring machines
Figure 21 EPB Tunnel Boring Machine to be used on the

already delivered for commencement of the works on

Fortaleza Metro

the East line.

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Porto Maravilha
One of the most important works under development in Rio de Janeiro is Porto Maravilha Project, which intends to
revitalize the port area, reintegrating it to the city (Figure 22) by demolishing viaducts and replacing them with tunnels.

Figure 22 Overview of the location of Porto Maravilha Project, before and after implementation (Rio de Janeiro)

Gastau Tunnel
For Petrobrs to transport natural gas from sea level to
the Paraba Valley, a very economically active region at
an altitude of 700m, the 5-km long Gastau Tunnel was
built using a Double Shield TBM for hard rock for the first
time in Brazil. Figure 23 shows the tunnel boring machine
before starting excavations.

Transposition of the So Francisco River

The Project for Integrating the So Francisco River with the
Water Basins of the Northern North-eastern Region is an
enterprise of the Brazilian Federal Government under the

Figure 23 Double Shield Hard Rock TBM

responsibility of the Ministry for National Integration. The

recently used by Petrobrs

objective of the Project is to ensure that water is available

for the 12 million inhabitants of the 390 cities of the
Agreste and Backland regions of the states of Pernambuco,
Cear, Paraba and Rio Grande do Norte.
Photo Toniolo & Busnello

The integration of the So Francisco river with the basins of

temporary rivers in the semi-arid region will be possible by
the continuous catchment of 26.4 m/s of water, equivalent
to a mere 1.42% of the flow guaranteed by the Sobradinho
dam (1,850 m/s), of which 16.4 m/s (0.88%) will follow the
Northern Axis and 10 m/s (0.54%), to the Eastern Axis. For
such, part of the works required are underground, with
highlights to the Cunca I and II tunnels (Figure 24), with a

Figure 24 Breakthrough of the Cuncas II Tunnel of the

length of 19.5 km, currently under execution.

Transposition of the So Francisco River

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World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


3. The future
Brazil has over 42 kilometres of tunnels
under construction. From North to
South, underground work is in progress
to improve infrastructure in Brazils
cities. In addition, work on over 35,000
metres of tunnels is likely to begin soon.
The figures show that Brazil is investing
in infrastructure and that underground
works are now definitively on the list of
viable solutions for meeting the needs
of Brazilian cities. As it already occurs in
other countries, Brazil is awakening to
the fact that underground works are,
for the most part, the most appropriate
solution. Below some of the main tunnel
works under study are mentioned:

Figure 25- The Federal Government Railroad Investment Plan- Source EPL site

The PIL Logistics Investment Program launched at the end of 2012 by the Brazilian Federal Government, presents for
the Railroad modal an investment package of around BRL 90 billion for the construction and adaptation of 11,000 km
of railroads (Figure 25). Table 1 below shows a summary of the number of underground projects that will be part of
the PIL, still under design, therefore with variable values for the minimum and maximum limits of tunnel lengths, but
totalling between 113 and 230 km of tunnels.

Key to the Chart





Railroad Bypass

Acesso ao Porto de Santos

Access to the Port of Santos



Trechos em Estudos/Avaliao

Sections under Study/Evaluation

PAC em execuo

PAC (Growth unde Program) in progress

Malha atual

Current Network

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

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Iguassu Falls - Brazil


Section Alternative with

lower volume of tunnels

Alternative with higher

volume of tunnels


Length (m)


Length (m)

Lucas do Rio Verde - Campinorte - Palmas Anpolis


Rio de Janeiro - Campos - Vitria



Salvador- Recife


Uruau - Corinto - Campos





So Paulo - Rio Grande





Belo Horizonte Salvador



Maracaj - Eng Bley - Paranagu





So Paulo Southern Railroad Bypass


So Paulo Northern Railroad Bypass










Table1: Summary table of the projects of the Brazilian Federal Governments investment plan for railroads with tunnels. Source EPL

South-eastern Region
The South-eastern Region is one of those with most tunnelling works in progress. In the state of Minas Gerais, the
BR-381/MG highway will be duplicated between Governador Valadares and Belo Horizonte. In all, there will be four
tunnels. Two parallel tunnels, each 450 metres in length, one 650-metre tunnel and another 750-metre tunnel. Also in
Minas Gerais, the state capital will build its metro system. The entire Belo Horizonte metro will be underground and
excavated using a shield with around 5 km (initially).
Another example is the BR-040/RJ Highway that winds
its way up the mountains between Rio de Janeiro and
Petrpolis. This will be the largest road tunnel in Brazil, five
kilometres long.

The expansion to the Green Line 2 of the So Paulo Metro in

the direction of the north-eastern part of the city, reaching
the municipality of Guarulhos close to the international
airport, is in its final design phase and should be put out
to tender still this year, with 15 kilometres of tunnels to be

Photo - DERSA-SP - web site

executed by two tunnel boring machines.

Santos - Guaruj Tunnel

After several studies, the government of So Paulo decided
that the dry connection between Santos and Guaruj, on
the So Paulo coastline, will be via an immersed tunnel,
a hitherto unheard of technique in Brazil (Figure 26). This
tunnel will be 762 metres long and will be located at a
depth of 21 metres. The project should be put out to tender

Figure 26 - Schematics for the Santos-Guaruj

in the first half of 2014.

Immersed Tunnel

May 9th to 15th, 2014

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World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


The Roberto Marinho Urban Tunnel - SP

The conception of this urban tunnel is an example of an important slice of the market for underground works in Brazil
in the next years. In this case, the underground traffic solutions are being considered to improve the Southern zone of
So Paulo.
Two tunnels, each with three lanes, with a cross-section of 147 m and 15.7 m wide, are in the final design phase. Parking
and emergency areas will have a 168-m cross-section. The tunnels will be excavated in soft ground, consisting primarily of
stiff clays and sandy layers of the tertiary basin of So Paulo and sections of residual soil of pre-Cambrian gneiss.

A high-speed railroad system (HighSpeed Train TAV) is being planned
to operate in Brazils most populous
and economically active region.
In 2008, the total estimated demand
between Rio de Janeiro and So
Photo - EPL web site

Paulo was 7,3 million journeys,

with the air traffic market taking
a 60% slice, cars 17% and 23% for
buses. The TAV will be implemented
between Campinas, So Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro (Figure 27), also





Figure 27 Proposed route for the TAV


metropolitan regions.
The system will be designed to operate at a maximum speed of 350 km/h. The total estimated distance between
Campinas and Rio de Janeiro is 511 km, while the distance between So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro is around 412 km.
Based on the route developed, the non-stop journey between the two cities is estimated to last approximately 1 hour
and 33 minutes. Trips with a long-distance, high-speed service between Rio de Janeiro and Campinas will take about
two and a half hours.
The proposed route will have 90.9 km
of tunnels, of which 46.6 kilometres
Photo - Projeto Arco Tiet

will be located in urban areas and

44.3 in rural areas. In the rural areas,
the longest tunnels will be located
in the Serra das Araras mountains,
an escarpment with a difference in
elevation of around 500 metres. The
bidding process for the concession
(design, construction and operation)

Figure 28 - Proposed Arco Tiet Project - So Paulo for burying the freeways

is currently in progress.
Countless other design proposals are still being studied and include underground works for underground railroads
in the central region of So Paulo, several urban tunnels, sanitation tunnels, the So Paulo metropolitan water ring,
railroad connection tunnels in the Serra do Mar mountains and urban recovery by burying the Tiet freeways such as
the Arco Tiet Project, which foresees a huge urban remodelling in the city of So Paulo, based on underground works
(Figure 28).


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Iguassu Falls - Brazil

Southern Region
The city of Curitiba, capital of Paran state created bus corridors over 30 years ago a public transport model copied
by more than 80 countries. Now, to further improve city transport, Curitiba is considering building a metro. The total
length has not been defined yet, but what is known is that it will be entirely underground using conventional methods
(Figure 29) and tunnel boring machine.

Figure 29 Typical tunnel sections of the Curitiba - PR Metro Project

Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, is also preparing to invest in a metro, with the Line 2 Project, since
the surface train line is considered Line 1. Line 2, with around 18 km, should be partly underground, especially in the
downtown region. Figure 30 shows a partial geological section of the citys downtown region.

Figure 30 Simplified Geological

Section of the Downtown Metro
of Porto Alegre

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World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly


4. Final Considerations
This document presents a small sample of underground projects in Brazil. The tunnel market in Brazil shows a clear
increase in demand. There is a growing need for urban infrastructures, even though recent economic growth rates
have declined in the face of the global crisis. It is up to Brazilian engineering, with the support and participation of the
international community, to create the means to meet these needs, making it possible for safe and economic works,
using the best design and construction techniques available.


World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

May 9th to 15th, 2014

Iguassu Falls - Brazil

World Tunnel Congress 2014

40th Ita-Aites General Assembly



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