Finalists of the nine categories for the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2017

Finalists of the nine categories for the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2017

9 categories for the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2017:

  • Major Project of the Year – over 500€ million
  • Project of the Year – between €50 millon and €500 million
  • Project of the Year – (up to €50 million)
  • Technical Project Innovation of the Year
  • Technical Product or Equipment Innovation of the Year
  • Sustainability Initiative of the Year
  • Safety Initiative of the Year
  • Innovative Underground Space Concept of the Year
  • Young Tunneller of the Year

Presentations of finalists for the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2017

Category Safety Initiative of the Year


  • Telemach : A cutter head disc robotic changing system (China – Hong Kong)

Telemach is a semi-automatic multi-purpose robotic arm installed inside the front shield of TBM aiming to safely replace used cutter discs with the operator remaining inside TBM control room. During the stoppage for TBM maintenance, the arm is able to manoeuvre into the cutterhead chamber and perform cleaning and replacement of worn discs by a new unit, without any human assistance.

  • Sprayed Concrete Lined Radial Joint Design – Bank Station Capacity Upgrade (United Kingdom)

Renovation works in order to upgrade the capacity of Bank Station in London Metro included several major expansions of interchange spaces and tunnels. Many risks and challenges needed to be handled safely: fallouts, complex connections of reinforcement at radial joints, poor quality jointing, poor design quality…

Using the SCL Radial Joint Design to expanse the railway tunnel in Bank Station allowed.

The project comprises the construction of a new triple escalator; a moving walkway in the new tunnel; a new entrance.

  • MineARC’s GuardIAN Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics for Refuge Chambers (Australia)

Released in September 2016, MineARC’s GuardIAN Remote Monitoring System has been designed to provide real-time monitoring, communication and diagnostics of refuge chambers, whilst also integrating with other site technology.

The system makes safety for refuge chambers more intuitive than ever by allowing direct communication between the refuge chamber and control room. It provides centralised operational monitoring of an entire fleet of chambers, checking for component faults and chamber usage.

Category Sustainability Initiative of the Year


  • Anacostia River Tunnel Project (USA)

The Anacostia River Tunnel (ART) is a major component of the DC Water Combined Sewer Overflow remediation program. When completed, the entire project will reduce sewer overflows to the Anacostia River by 98%. The ART is a 3,8km long tunnel with an internal diameter of 7m. Existing overflow sewers are connected to the tunnel using 30m deep shafts with a specially designed configuration to control inflow into the tunnel while reducing wear. Tunnel has 100 year minimum design life. Tunnel was excavated in urban setting with minimum impact to the environment and the surrounding community.

  • ITO Metro Station (India)

A two level 18m deep underground station on Line-6 Ext Of Delhi MRTS Phase-lll, constructed directly beneath one of the busiest intersections of Delhi (175,000 PCUs per day) In a record time of 30 Months with proper traffic diversion and management. The project set up numerous sustainable initiatives such as a continuous monitoring of Particulate Matter for the indoor air during construction, the utilization of MERV-8 filters and CO2 sensors ensured a superior air quality.

Category Project of the Year – between €50 millon and €500 million


  • Blue Plains Tunnel (USA)

The Blue Plains Tunnel is a major component of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Anacostia River by 98%. The project includes a 7.3 km long, 7 m diameter soft-ground tunnel, and five deep shafts with diameters ranging from 15 to 40 m. This massive environmental undertaking was innovative in design and construction approaches; completed safely, on-time and under-budget, and is the first step to realizing the benefits of a tunnel system that will be enjoyed by Washington, DC residents and millions of visitors to the Anacostia River for generations.

  • Cityline – Norrström tunnel (Sweden)

The Norrström tunnel is a complex large scale underground project which has been executed in heart of Stockholm City challenging technical and geological rock conditions. The sensitive surroundings immediately adjacent to existing metro station and subways, fragile, irreplaceable historical buildings of great cultural value demanded the delivery of state of the art engineering performance by all parties involved.

City Station is now Sweden’s largest underground station. There, the line separates into two pairs of double-tracks with 12m-wide, 240m-long platforms running through the middle of each pair, creating within two 27.5m-wide platform rooms. City station is built directly under Stockholm’s existing T-Centralen metro station. The tunnels and large platform voids are constructed around 35m to 45m below surface and under the three existing subway lines. Although Stockholm is founded on relatively stable hard gneissrock, construction of the tunnels and station voids still presented several challenges to the engineers, notably at the new City Station –which were designed by consultant WSP and constructed by NCC.

  • MTR Shatin to Central Link – Contract 1103 Hin Keng to Diamond Hill Tunnels (China – Hong Kong)

The project included high-risks tunnelling works in a 4km tunnel (part of a 17km strategic railway line), underneath Hong Kong’s highly built-up urban areas, in close proximity to residents. In a complex geological situation, different tunnelling methods had to be used such as cut-and-cover and drill-and-blast at only 6m above a live water supply tunnel; TBM crossing twice at 6m below an operating railway line…

A particularity to be mentioned is the alternative design which was used for a large-span mined soft ground tunnel to reduce construction and safety risks as well as the redesigning of the ventilation shaft to improve safety.

  • Tùnel Emisor Poniente II (Mexico)

Mexico City’s TEP II is a crucial new wastewater line that will prevent flooding in urban areas and will convey sewage to the city’s first wastewater treatment plant.

The tunnel, which passes below mountains, through fault zones, and beneath urban areas, was a complex excavation. The project required a unique dual-mode type TBM to successfully and safely navigate a major fault in hard rock, a large unforeseen cavern, and a low cover area of soft ground. Three national records were achieved.

Category Technical Project Innovation of the Year


  • Construction of bifurcation section of underground expressway underneath residential area in Yokohama (Japan)

In this project, instead of using open cut method, new technologies were developed and introduced to construct the large bifurcation section of 20m width and 200m length from the main tunnel by trench less construction method directly under the residential area. New technologies for widening tunnel from segmentally lined tunnel were deemed such as the combination of Enlargement Shield Tunnelling Machine (ESTM) and Large Diameter Pipe Roof (LDPR).

Utilization of advanced technologies contributed to the completion of the bifurcation works without giving any adverse impact to the residential area at surface and the successful opening of Yokohama North Line (8.8km) expressway.

  • Implementing BIM concept in Karavanke Tunnel (Slovenia)

The Karavanke tunnel project went beyond the common utilization of BIM technology and involved all aspects of tunnelling right from geological modelling, modelling excavations & support down to all infrastructure diciplines.

The Karavanke tunnel project (8km) gathered two client organizations, 10 design companies, 15 different design authoring tools, 190 models exchanged across disciplines and coordinated in 5 Coordination models using IFC standard.

  • Trenchless Construction of Pedestrian Underpass Using a Rectangular Box Jack Tunnel Boring Machine at Thomson-East Coast Line Havelock Station (Singapore)

In tandem with the national effort to increase construction productivity, a Rectangular Box Jack Tunnel Boring Machine (RTBM) has been used in Singapore to construct a Pedestrian Underpass connecting Havelock Station hull to its entrances beneath a heavily plied road junction. Resulting in an estimated 30% improvement in productivity, the use of the RTBM offers an alternative to the conventional cut and cover method. This initiative also led to minimal surface disruptions for the motorists and pedestrians, and negligible noise and dust pollution in the built up area.

Category Innovative Underground Space Concept of the Year


  • Underground Intermodal Hub In Bostanci Neighborhood (Turkey)

Bostanci intermodal hub includes the southern terminal of the Bostanci-Dudullu line (14km, 13 stations) and consists into a 12.000sqm underground station, integrating a 4 stories underground parking, an at-grade large public space with a garden, and pedestrian connection with bus, taxi, ferryboat and the future Marmarai line.

Bostanci project carries a double duty: the ethic value of a public transit project designed to build a sustainable and resilient city, and the aesthetic value of realizing a more comfortable environment, underground and at-grade, inspired to the highest contemporary standards of architectural and urban quality.

  • Jerusalem Underground Cemetery In Tunnels (Israel)

Building underground cemeteries addresses a mounting global environmental and real estate crisis, while also meeting emotional and religious needs.

Burial tunnels below existing cemeteries will maximize vertical land use and, elsewhere, spare the aboveground landscape. The project includes 22,000 tombs.

The proximity of underground cemeteries to mushrooming cities will enable people to continue to visit their departed loved ones, and in any weather. Subterranean cemeteries are an important tool in reshaping urban areas to meet the challenges of the future without destroying heritage or worsening surface environment.

  • Caverns Master Plan Of Hong-Kong (China – Hong-Kong)

At last but not least, the third project which has been selected for the ITA Tunnelling Awards is the “Caverns master plan of Hong Kong”.

China is currently facing urban housing issues as the cities are overcrowded and lack of available space is now obvious.

The project was born by noting that rock caverns may serve as a sustainable source of long-term land supply in Hong Kong and may represent a new solution to relocate some functions and release some precious space.

To unleash the potential of this hidden land resource, Hong Kong has formulated its first Cavern Master Plan (CMP) to guide and facilitate territory-wide application of rock caverns for supporting continuous social and economic development of the city. The potential uses of these cavers vary between food/wine storage, archives and data storage, research laboratories, vehicle parking…

With the launch of the CMP, numerous cavern projects covering a wide range of uses are being implemented in various the 48 Strategic Cavern Areas delineated in the plan.

Category Project of the Year – (up to €50 million)


  • Fjærland Hydropower Plants (Norway)

The Fjærland HPP consists of 6 HPP in rural surroundings along the Fjærland Fjord. Two of these HPP is with tunnel. These tunnels where developed without road access and within strict environmental requirements.

This project should win due to the innovative solutions developed in the project and the relatively small interventions in the surrounding nature. The finished result will be not only an environmentally friendly production facility for electricity but also a beautiful feature on the shoreline along Fjærlandsfjorden.

  • Tunnel Kennedy (Chile)

Tunnel Kennedy has supposed a significant construction challenge due to its dimensions (section 250m ;width 23.2 m)excavated in alluvial gravels partially under the water table, and because its location, in one of the densest urban areas of Santiago, avoiding any affection to the existing surface traffic. This tunnel is part of an ensemble of works designed to enhance the connectivity of the financial and commercial core of the city. The chosen solution was to construct a tunnel partially under a golf course located beside Kennedy Avenue, with an extremely low overburden (0.7 to 1.5 diameters) and with two sections of 4 and 5 lanes (3.5m each one). The construction method was Sequential Excavation Method.

  • Southwark to City of London deep cable tunnel (United Kingdom)

This project involved design and construction of a 9m diameter, 34m deep shaft, 3km of 2.85m diameter segmentally lined tunnel, a 6.2m diameter, 8.5m long reception chamber and enlargement of 100m of existing tunnel from 2.6m diameter to 3.7m diameter to facilitate removal of the tunnel boring machine (TBM). Installation of the 132,000V cables and the mechanical and electrical permanent work systems were also required for the project. The project was constructed without a single lost time injury with a never harm ethos. The tunnel’s alignment passed beneath the streets of a heavily urbanised area with complex horizontal curves at radii down to 150m in technically challenging mixed ground conditions.

Category Technical Product or Equipment Innovation of the Year


  • Automatic Drilling Jumbo With Electric Driveline System For Underground Tunneling And Mine Development (Finland)

Sandvik introduces a new tunneling jumbo that uses electric driveline technologies providing completely emission free drilling helping to reduce underground emissions at construction sites. The new tunnelling jumbo, DD422iE should be awarded for its contribution on underground tunnelling development by eliminating all diesel emissions that results safer and healthier working environment for underground personnel. Also highly automated drilling functions has proven to increase the productivity and reduce costs for various customers around the world.

  • RowaTrain – Self-driving trackless supply logistic system (Austria)

RowaTrain is a self-driving, trackless, modular supply logistic system (up to six wagons, length up to 60m, payload up to 120 ton) to be operated underground since mid of 2016.

RowaTrain overcomes 12% slope and reaches cruise speed up to 25km/h, both at full load (120 ton), thus enabling the direct supply of a TBM heading over long distance and steep slope. Best daily advance rates in excess of 61m and monthly advance rates in the order of 800m underline RowaTrain’s performance. RowaTrain combines existing technologies to provide a logistic system, which eliminates material transloading, and cuts down investment and operating costs by substantially reducing the number of required personnel and equipment, as well as simplifying maintenance.

  • Strength Monitoring Using Thermal Imaging (United Kingdom)

SMUTI is a new method of monitoring sprayed concrete strength gain. SMUTI allows the strength of the whole shotcrete lining to be monitored continuously in real time from a secure position, improving safety, quality control and productivity.

Category Major Project of the Year – over 500€ million


  • Tehran Metro (Iran)

The extension of Tehran Metro is one immense project: from the south east of Tehran, the line goes through the city center to end up in the North West of the city. Line 6 of the Tehran Metro will be 31.2km long with 27 stations. This tunnel project is one of the longest in Iran. Started in 2015, this “lightning-project” has ended a mere 22 months later, in 2017, and a special record was established with 800m of tunnel excavation completed within a week.

This huge construction project required 35 access tunnels to build the “NATM” part of the main tunnel and the volume of steel used in this project is 20x greater than the steel used in the constructing the Eiffel Tower.

As the line passes beneath city center, various instruments and processes were used to decrease the risks arising from surface/subsurface obstacles (24-floor building, bridges, other metro tunnels, aqueducts…): ground leveling points, building settlements points, convergence pins, extensometers, inclinometers, crack meters…

Cost: €514.6m

  • Doha Rail Metro (Qatar)

Tunnelling beneath city centers, beneath buildings and especially specific structures has emerged as an increasing concern in the tunnelling industry. The Qatar Rail Metro is one good example of efficient management of mining under sensitive structures.

The Doha Metro includes the construction of twin bored tunnels and 31 stations.

Planned to be operational in 2020, the elevated and at-grade rail network will be built in 2 phases. The first phase are the Gold, Red and Green Lines with the second phase including an additional Blue Line.

Not only did the project see 20 TBMs burrow silently beneath the city without a hint of disruption to the population, but the twin-bore single track tunnels were constructed using EPB technology, in order to mitigate the risks related to surface settlements, collapse, rapid water ingress through karstic features, excavation under sensitive structures or below man-made sea water channels, with the application of face pressure.

Cost: €16.2bn

  • Delhi Metro Phase 3 Expansion Networks (India)

“Safety First!” was probably the leitmotiv of the metro phase 3 expansion project in Delhi.

This project is one of the most ambitious underground construction work for India as it comprises of 106 km of tunneling with 34 stations having to cope with numerous technical challenges such as unforeseen geological conditions, densely populated areas…

For 5 years, and thanks to many safety initiatives, the accident occurrence rate has been reduced which has led to a Lost Time Injury Frequency rate (LTIFR) of less than 0.02 in Phase – III compared to 0.19 in Phase – II.

Internal monitoring through site inspections and safety management initiatives such as Safety Trainings, Weekly Site Safety Walk & Monthly Safety Review meetings, were organized in .

When operational, the project will reduce vehicle greenhouse emissions to approximately 3.1 million tons per year. Fuel consumption will be reduced to 141,353 thousand litres/ year.

Cost: €4.2bn

  • Confederation LRT Line (Canada)

The Confederation Line is a state-of-the-art LRT system and Ottawa’s largest transportation infrastructure project since the building of the Rideau Canal.

The Confederation Line is a P3 project between the City of Ottawa and Rideau Transit Group (RTG) funded by the Canada Federal Government and the Province of Ontario. The tunnel spans 2.9 kilometers, is on average 15 meters below the surface and features three stations on the Confederation Line project – Lyon, Parliament and Rideau.

In all, the project comprises thirteen stations and a 12.5-kilometre route, with 10 kilometers running above ground and 2.5 kilometers underground. Three stations are located underground in the new downtown tunnel.

The main excavation challenge for Lyon and Parliament stations was the close proximity of the basements. The stations are 18m wide in between buildings, 20m apart. The construction process foresaw an excavation by stages in order to transfer the ground loads from the arch to the invert through the cavern support, avoiding the loads into the basements.

Cost: €1.4bn

Category Young Tunneller of the Year

  • Tony Bauer (USA)

Tony began his career working with Gall Zeidler Consultants based in Washington DC, with tunnelling projects spanning four continents. Much of his experience has been in the design and construction of conventional tunnelling (i.e. SEM/NATM) in highly congested urban areas. After seeing the success first-hand of the BTS Young Members in the UK, Mr. Bauer founded the United States’ equivalent –the UCA Young Members –in 2014. Now Tony is working on the next generation of public transit, striving to deliver the world’s first Hyperloop One system.

  • Juan David Herrera (Colombia)

Juan David is a colombian civil engineer, head of a great geotechnics group in the Assessment during construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project, the biggest power plant in Colombia (2400 MW). For more than eleven years Juan has been working in Integral S.A., a Colombian consultant company and also in other tunneling works such as the design of the “Túnel de Oriente”, a 8,2km length road tunnel in the east of Medellín.

  • Roberto Schuerch (Switzerland)

In the last 12 months Roberto has achieved important results. He completed a PhD at the ETH (Zurich) on the subject of Tunnel face stability, this work is to positively impact the tunneling industry (safety and economy). He played a leading role in the design of the ground-breaking Lake Mead project (USA). He played a pivotal role in the creation of the ITA WG17 guidelines (issued in 2017). He co-founded the STSym. He built, and he is now leading, a 15-strong tunneling team at Pini Swiss Engineers (Zurich). He is presently working on projects sited all over the world.

  • Tobias Anderson (Norway)

Tobias started as a young engineer for JV SkanskaVinci at the notorious and challenging Hallandsas project in Sweden where after 4 years he became a TBM manager. He moved on as TBM Site Manager for LNS AS to be a part of bringing TBMs back to Norway through the Rossaga HEPP, close to the arctic circle, were challenges like extreme winter conditions, karstic ground and very hard rock over 300MPa were faced. Tobias and his team managed a 25ton mainbearing change, 3km into the tunnel in impressively 6 weeks. Now he works as a TBM construction manager for JV SkanskaStrabag at the Ulriken project in Norway and just had a breakthrough in the first railroad tunnel excavated with a TBM in the Norwegian history.

  • Michele Janutolo Barlet (France)

In 2012 Michele obtained a PhD Degree in Rock Mechanics at Politecnico Di Torino (Italy). Since 2012, he worked for the Mont-Cenis Base Tunnel along the new Lyon-Turin railway line. The tunnel is 57Km long between Italy (Piedmont) and France (Savoy). The most challenging activity for this project was the design of a mixed slurry shield TBM for the Italian side of the tunnel (including the pre-cast concrete element design). Main reasons for an award for this activity: machine design far of being common, innovative solutions to deal with locally potential asbestos-bearing rocks, project specificities (binational project, geotechnical, environmental, safety and social issues).

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