Tunnel to Wonderland: TBM Alice starts second drive.
Feb 11, 2015
In mid-December, one of the world's largest tunnel boring machines started its second drive for the large-scale "Waterview Connection" project in Auckland, New Zealand. The first 2.4 km long tunnel was completed in September after only eleven months. In the heart of the metropolis, the Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-764 is creating the shell for a road tunnel that will link two of the main State Highways together. In March 2013, Herrenknecht delivered the TBM to the companies Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell and Obayashi.
"This is a fantastic achievement. Our construction partners on the Well-Connected Alliance completed the breakthrough safely and ahead of schedule," Brett Gliddon, New Zealand Transport Agency's Highway Manager, said afterwards. "It is a huge engineering feat for New Zealand, one that is attracting worldwide attention. It demonstrates that with local and international experience and expertise, we can deliver infrastructure to equal the best in the world."
In addition to the actual TBM with three back-ups, which creates the tunnel shell, Herrenknecht designed and delivered an autonomous, fourth back-up. This followed TBM Alice at a distance on the first section already. Its task is to lay a "tunnel within the tunnel". It creates a part of the tunnel invert that supply lines will later pass through. This method of operation fully independent of the TBM advance offers an important advantage: advance performances of the TBM and the lining of the invert do not limit each other and can be done in parallel to save time.
The shell of the second tube is due to be completed in 2015. The opening to traffic is scheduled for the beginning of 2017.
PROJECT AND MACHINE DATA
Waterview Connection, Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand Transport Agency
Fletcher Construction Ltd.; McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd.; Obayashi Corporation (part of the "Well-Connected Alliance")
Machine type: EPB Shield
- Shield diameter: 14,410 mm
- Excavation diameter: 14,460 mm
- Drive power: 8,400 kW
- Torque: 6,880 kNm
Soft soils, heterogeneous soils, sandstone, siltstone (East Coast Bays Formation and Parnell Grit)
Advance length2 x 2,430 m
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