2018 ITA Tunnelling Awards winners

Major Project of the Year (over €500M)

The Immersed Tunnel of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Link (hereinafter “HZMB link”) is a mega sea crossing, connecting Hong Kong , Zhuhai and Macao, crossing the sea of Ling Ding Yang at the Pearl River Delta of South China. HZMB link is an important part of the China national expressway network and will accommodate a dual carriageway with 3 traffic lanes in each direction. Where most of the approx. 30 km offshore Link is realized by causeways and bridges, an essential part is the HZMB tunnel, being considered the most complicated section of the whole link.
The tunnel is 6.7 km long, of which the immersed section is 5,664 m in length. It is made up of 33 tunnel elements of which 28 straight elements and 5 curved elements. Typically a tunnel element is 180 m in length, 11.4m in height and 37.95m in width and has a weight of approx. 80,000 tons; the world’s largest tunnel elements. The tunnel cross section contains two traffic tubes and a separate central gallery that accommodates a smoke extraction duct and escape cell and a section for cables and mains.. To realize the transition between the bridges and the tunnel, two artificial islands were realized at both ends of the tunnel.

Project of the Year (between €50M and €500M)

The Queershan Tunnel on National Road 317

G317, also known as northern line of Sichuan-Tibet Highway, is 2,030km long from Chengdu, Sichuan to Nagqu, Tibet, and is an important channel connecting Sichuan Province with Tibet Autonomous Region. Queershan section passes through a Puerto at 5,050m above sea level, which is the highest section of G317. With frequent traffic accidents and extremely high safety risks caused by steep terrain, severe climate and complex geological conditions, this section is called "The highest and the most dangerous section of Sichuan-Tibet Highway".
The Queershan Tunnel on National Road 317 was a key construction project in China, it extends from location of the sandaoban of G317 to location of the liudaoban. It’s 12.997km long, including 7,079m tunnel length and 7,108m parallel pilot length. Tunnel entrance is at 4,378m above sea level, and the exit at 4,232m. Overall cost of the project was RMB1.116 billion including civil works cost of RMB 0.94 billion. The tunnel was constructed for 5 years, from September 2012 to September 2017 (open to traffic).

Project of the Year incl. Renovation (up to €50M)

Zarbalizadeh Shallow Tunnel Construction underneath the Operating Railways

The purpose of this project is to construct the Zarbalizadeh underpass in the 16th district of Tehran, which is the East-West connection between two urban areas and lead to reduce the traffic and travel time in this dense and populated demographic region. The project has been constructed by going under the subway line of Tehran Metro Line 1 with 3 minutes headway time and 550,000 daily commuters, and the North-South Railway with transportation of 40,000 passengers and a hundred tons of goods per day. This project is located between the South Passenger Terminal and two Tehran's subway stations.
Zarbalizadeh underpass project is an urban tunnel located at south of Tehran with an average over-burden of about 3.0m, excavation width and height of 14 m and 11.5 m, respectively. This tunnel with a total length of 105 meters consists of a multi-arc section and was excavated by the NATM method. Analysis & Design of this project was based on reliable references such as: FHWA-NHI-10-034, FHWA-NJ-2005-002, AASHTO, ACI 318-05 and ITA Guidelines for the Design of Tunnels. The initial liner has been designed with the shotcrete and lattice girder system and the final liner has been designed with reinforced concrete with a thickness of 50 cm.

Technical Project Innovation of the year

A Mechanized Method with Large Section Horseshoe Shape EPB-TBM First Applied in Loess Mountain Tunnel

Constructing mountain tunnel in loess stratum usually employs advance support, sequential excavation method (SEM) and double lining. Such method is lack of safety and slow. So, we have developed the large horseshoe-shaped EPB-TBM with multiple cutterheads for the mountain tunnel project in loess. Compared with conventional SEM, the proposed method in the project is safe and fast. It could also guarantee the quality of construction and the working environment. Compared with single circular cutterhead EPB-TBM, newly developed horseshoe shape EPB-TBM with multiple cutterheads could reduce manufacture cost of the TBM, increase utilization ratio of the section, and reduce the quantity of excavation and construction material. The section is 10.95 m high and 11.9 m wide. The construction method is successfully used in the Baicheng tunnel of Menghua Railway, which is 3345m long and lies in the sandy new loess. The range of the overburden is from 7 m to 81 m.

Technical Product/Equipment Innovation of the year

Multifunctional Energy-Storage and Luminescent Material for Sustainable and Energy-saving Lighting

Entrances and exits road tunnel are high-risk areas for traffic accidents. The average energy cost for the lighting in road tunnels is estimated to be around 900,000 RMB (c.a. 150,000 US dollars) per kilometer annually. Safety and energy saving are always hot issues of road tunnel lighting.
Recent studies show that the design of operation lighting for road tunnels should not only focus on the brightness and uniformity of the road, but also minimize the “black hole” and “white light” phenomenon at entrances and exits respectively. It was shown when the main peak wavelength of the illumination light falls in the range of 490 to 570 nm, the visibility of small objects to human eyes to is significantly increased. Such a visual reference frame suitable for human vision helps to mitigate visual fatigue.

Safety Initiative of the Year

ROBY 850 - Semi-Automatic Drilling Robot

Advance in construction technology has enabled longer and larger tunnels to be built, and hence more E&M services are being installed along the tunnels to provide ventilation, lighting, security, communication, and fire service etc. There is an increasing demand, for construction workers, to install the E&M services and cladding, in particularly, drilling anchors and installing permanent utility containment system including cable brackets and cable trays.
Current practice requires a surveyor or lineman to set out the anchors holes. Then a worker work on cherry picker or working platform to drill each of the holes repeatedly by using a hand-held drill. The anchors could hence be installed in the holes after holes cleaning. High quantity of anchors requires painful and repetitive job - very frequent change of drill bits by hand.

Innovative Underground Space Concept of the year

Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum

The Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum is an underground museum located near the Olympic City Lillehammer in Norway. The museum was established by the main stakeholders in the Norwegian tunnelling industry 25 years ago on 31 August 1992. The museum is operated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and this season the exhibition and info. center is upgraded with new digital presentation effects.
The Norwegian Rock Blasting Museum is a journey through the history of Norwegian tunnelling and rock blasting, with a 240 m long semicircular tunnel as the main attraction. The tunnel display equipment and tunnelling technique from the early beginning to computerized drilling and TBM boring. As a part of the tunnel, the great rock cavern with its restaurant facilities is ideal for social engagements.

Young Tunneller of the year

Giuseppe M. Gaspari

Giuseppe holds a Degree in Civil Engineering, a Master in Geotechnics and a second level Master in Tunneling & TBMs. He is currently Deputy Project Manager for the West Vaughan Sewage Servicing Project, a 14-km tunnel with 9 shafts in the Greater Toronto Area (Canada), and the Design Project Manager for the Suffolk Outfall in NY (USA).
Giuseppe started his career in the Geodata Engineering center of excellence (Turin, Italy) applying numerical modelling to design massive structures underground for multi-billion projects such as the SEM sections of Istanbul Metro Line Kadikoy-Kartal in Turkey and TBM tunneled Turin Metro in Italy.
In Istanbul, he supported the design of approximately 26 km of tunnels and stations in a massive urbanized context. The main achievement of his team was the detail design of the following elements: NATM/SEM caverns (up to 33m width, 18m height) for switches and stations underground platforms, cross-passages and underground tunnels’ intersections, with 3-dimensional numerical methods.

Lifetime Achievement

Prof Evert Hoek

Evert Hoek was born in Zimbabwe, graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town and became involved in the young science of rock mechanics in 1958 when he started working in research on the problems of brittle fracture associated with rockbursts in very deep mines in South Africa. His degrees include a PhD from the University of Cape Town, a DSc (Eng) from the University of London and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto in Canada. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He has published more than 100 papers and 3 books and has posted a significant amount of information on the Internet for free downloading.
He spent 9 years as a Reader and then Professor at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, 12 years as a Principal of Golder Associates in Vancouver, 6 years as an Industrial Research Professor at the University of Toronto and the last 17 years as an independent consulting engineer based in North Vancouver, Canada. His consulting work has included major civil and mining projects in 35 countries around the world and has involved rock slopes, dam foundations, hydroelectric projects, underground caverns and tunnels excavated conventionally and by TBM. He has retired from active consulting work but, in 2010, is still a member of consulting boards on the Seymour Capilano Twin Tunnels Project in Vancouver, Canada, The Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory in the old Homestake mine in South Dakota, USA and the Codelco Norte Chuquicamata Open Pit Mine in Chile.