News

Digging London’s Newest Tunnel

An article recently published by theatlanticcities.com discusses the continuing construction of the Crossrail in London.  Crossrail, a 15 billion pound railway link connecting east and west London and Europe’s largest infrastructure project, will open in four years’ time and is now half complete, on budget and on schedule.  GZ has played a major role on Crossrail, including both design and construction support services.  On an historically interesting note, a large number of remains, which have been identified as belonging to Black Death victims have been discovered during construction.  Click here to read the article.

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8 Massive Tunnel Projects – Port of Miami Tunnel

An article recently published on the popular blog Gizmodo highlights eight massive tunneling projects currently being constructed in major cities throughout the United States. One project featured in the article was the Port of Miami Tunnel, which GZ has been heavily involved with since 2011. Other large, interesting tunneling projects are mentioned as well, illustrating the growth of the underground construction industry in the U.S. Click here to read the Gizmodo article.

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Caldecott Fourth Bore

Less than four years after groundbreaking, the Caldecott Fourth Bore will soon open to traffic. The new tunnel will join three existing tunnels on the busy State Road 24, which connects Contra Costa and Alameda counties through the Berkeley Hills of northern California’s San Francisco East Bay Area. The 3,389-foot (1,033-meter) long tunnel was constructed using Sequential Excavation Method / New Austrian Tunneling Method (SEM / NATM) techniques, and was completed under budget. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place this Friday, November 15 at the tunnel’s East Portal in Contra Costa County to celebrate the completion of the Caldecott Fourth Bore. For more information on this project, please visit GZ’s Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore project page.

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore West Portal

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GZ Presents at BTS 2013 Conference and Exhibition

GZ Senior Engineer Ermin Stehlik will present next week at the BTS 2013 Conference and Exhibition at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, UK. BTS 2013 will be held this year next Wednesday and Thursday, on the 23rd and 24th of October. BTS is not only the UK’s largest tunneling and excavation event, but it is the only event supported by the British Tunnelling Society. As such, BTS is an essential meeting point for tunneling professionals involved in the design, management and maintenance of today’s growing tunnelling and underground infrastructure. Mr. Stehlik’s presentation, which will be given on the second day of the conference, is titled “Experience with 2 component grouting during construction of the Prague Metro.” For more information on BTS 2013, please visit the official event website here.

(Courtesy of BTS2013.com)

(Courtesy of BTS2013.com)

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Crossrail London: First Tunnel Completed

After 17 months of construction, the first train tunnel of the Crossrail Project is completed. The tunnel is 4.2 miles (6.8 kilometers) long and connects Royal Oak in west London to Farringdon in central London. To date, over 13 miles (21 kilometers) of tunnels have been constructed for this project, which will include 26 miles (42 kilometers) of tunnels at its completion in 2018. The tunnel boring machine (TBM), named “Phyllis,” will now be dissembled and removed from the tunnel through the recently-completed Fisher Street shaft. Looking ahead, six more tunnels are slated for completion next year.

For more information on Crossrail, visit the official project site here. For more information on GZ’s involvement with the project, visit the GZ project page.

Crossrail Tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon (Courtesy of crossrail.co.uk)

Crossrail Tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon (Courtesy of crossrail.co.uk)

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Dr. Gall to Present at Breakthroughs in Tunneling 2013

On Friday, September 20, 2013, GZ principal Dr. Vojtech Gall will present “Devil’s Slide and Caldecott 4th Bore” at the 2013 Breakthroughs in Tunneling Annual Short Course, which will once again be held on the campus of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Dr. Gall’s presentation will discuss the Devil’s Slide and Caldecott 4th Bore Tunnel projects, both of which are located in northern California, including construction methods used and other project-specific information. After five years of construction, the Devil’s Slide Tunnels opened on March 25 of this year; the Caldecott 4th Bore Tunnel is on track to open by the end of 2013.

For more information regarding this year’s 2013 Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course, please visit the website.

 

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GZ Presents Ruta del Sol Report to Colombian Agencies

The Ruta del Sol Road Project stretches over 620 miles (1000 kilometers) and will eventually connect Colombia’s capital of city Bogotá to the Caribbean coast, while connecting several towns and cities along the way. Ruta del Sol will provide a quick, efficient transportation route for commuters, goods and services, while alleviating areas major traffic congestion. The alignment includes a two-lane highway, as well as several bridges, tunnels, high cuts and embankments. Split into three Sectors–and each of those split into sub-sectors called “Tramos”–Ruta del Sol has been under construction for years, although construction on Tramo 1, Sector 1 (13.4 miles, or 21.6 kilometers long) has yet to begin due to concerns regarding slope stability along the alignment, which winds through mountainous terrain susceptible to landslides and mass movements. These risks may have been exacerbated by excessive rains that affected the area during the 2010-2011 La Niña phenomenon.

In early July 2013, GZ principals Dr. Vojtech Gall and Dr. Kurt Zeidler, vice president Dr. Axel Nitschke, and geologist Richard Blessing, as well as principal engineer Dr. Ernesto Vicente and climatologist Dr. Fernando Oropeza conducted a site visit to Tramo 1, Sector 1 of Ruta del Sol, which connects the municipalities of Villeta and Guaduas in Cundinamarca Department, in order to evaluate the present geological and geomorphological conditions of the region and their relation to the locations of planned structures along the alignment. The current alignment includes several bridges and viaducts, as well as two tunnels that have a combined length of over 2,ooo feet (3,200 meters). The team was guided by representatives from  Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI, the National Infrastructure Agency), as well as Consorcio Vial Helios (HELIOS) over a two-day period. Afterwards, the team interviewed at several Colombian government agencies for more information related to interaction of the local climate, the alignment of Tramo 1, Sector 1, the geological and geomorphological conditions of the area, and the civil and structural elements of the project, among other factors. For the next two months, GZ prepared a report summarizing findings from the site visit and assessing the collected and available data in order to determine whether the alignment of Tramo 1, Sector 1 should be moved.

GZ presented the findings of the report to representatives from ANI, HELIOS, the Ministry of Transportation and MSB Solutions on Thursday, September 5.

ANI                      HELIOS

 

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Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore to Open by Year’s End

The Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project, which will alleviate traffic congestion on State Route 24 between Contra Costa and Alameda counties in northern California, is in track to open by the end of the year, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The tunnel was constructed using Sequential Excavation Method / New Austrian Tunneling Method (SEM / NATM) techniques and is approximately 3,400 feet ( 1,000 meters) long. Follow the link to a news clip for more information on the opening of the Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore. For more information on GZ’s involvement with the Caldecott project, visit the project page.

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Crossrail: Constructing our underground caverns in Stepney Green – YouTube Video

Crossrail

The Stepney Green caverns, part of the Crossrail Project in London, are located 40 meters below ground and are some of the largest mined caverns in the world to be constructed using the Sprayed Concrete Lining (SCL) tunneling technique. Last week, the westbound cavern was completed, marking another major milestone for this massive urban rail infrastructure project; the eastbound cavern was completed approximately three months ago. An interesting YouTube video provides an update of the activities in Stepney Green. For more information on the Crossrail project, visit the official website.

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Crossrail Tunnel Project Uncovers Ancient Artifacts

Roman Sestertius bronze coin from around A.D. 30.

Roman Sestertius bronze coin from around A.D. 30.

What happens when you tunnel beneath a city that has been populated for thousands of years? You uncover artifacts ranging from neolithic stone tools, ancient Roman roads and bronze coins, human remains dating back to the 13th and 16th centuries and even those belonging to patients of Bedlam Hospital, the world’s first psychiatric asylum. Follow the link to The Independent’s website for more information regarding the discoveries that have been made during the construction of  the Crossrail Project, and be sure to check out the GZ Crossrail project page.

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