Dec 08, 2017
It takes a lot more than the sea, a river or urban development to stop an engineer building the infrastructure that will help transport or improve the health of millions of people.
This can involve the perilous task of building tunnels and in 1858 a major tunnelling endeavour was required to save London from The Big Stink, a putrid stench that had befallen the capital.
MPs finally got to grips with London’s growing waste problem when it literally got up their noses. The Big Stink – caused by a combination of hot weather and untreated human waste and industrial effluent – had forced MPs from the House of Commons, prompting them to rush a bill through parliament to build a new sewage system. The Metropolitan Board of Works’ chief engineer, Joseph Bazalgette, was responsible for designing and building the huge system of intercepting sewers, which is still in use today.
Excavation is one of the greatest challenges in any tunnel project, and in 1876 The Engineer was in no doubt about the future success of plans by Sir John Hawkshaw and Sir James Brunlees, founders of the original Channel Tunnel Company, who proposed a 31-mile tunnel link.
“For the execution of the work, as far as mechanical aid is concerned, there need be no apprehension, there now being ample means in the way of tunnelling machinery, and ample experience in its extensive use,” said The Engineer’s correspondent.
Despite The Engineer’s enthusiasm, a tunnel wasn’t completed for another 118 years.
It might seem counterintuitive to build a tunnel in place of a bridge, but that was the situation in 1869 when The Engineer reported on the Tower Subway in London. An attempt to bridge the River Thames had failed in 1863 because of ‘the great height required for the passage of ships’. This problem was eventually solved by Tower Bridge, but before it came Peter Barlow’s Tower Subway, itself a forerunner of the modern deep-level Tube.
With Britain’s population being urged to Keep Calm and Carry On, passengers on London Underground were faced with the prospect of flooding as a result of bombing by the Luftwaffe. To mitigate the risks of flooding, a solution was found that literally closed the floodgates and sealed tunnels from the ingress of water.
In just over three years, eight tunnel boring machines dug below London’s streets to construct 42km of new rail tunnels for Crossrail, Europe’s largest civil engineering project. When complete, new trains will run over 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. In doing so, the project is predicted to bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of London.
Joseph Bazalgette’s Victorian sewers stand out as a highlight of Victorian tunelling, but even he couldn’t have anticipated demands on a system that must now serve around 8.7 million Londoners. Bazalgette’s low-level interceptor sewers fill up and overflow into the Thames, a situation that will be resolved by diverting overflow into the new tunnel instead of the river.
Designed to be constructed from vast pre-fabricated concrete sections that will be installed in trenches on the seabed up to 35m beneath the surface, the 18km Fehmarnbelt tunnel will comprise twin railway lines, four motorway lanes and a separate emergency tube. The tunnel, which will connect Denmark with Germany, will be five times longer than the current record-holder, the ∅resund tunnel, which is also in Denmark.
Jan 18, 2018
The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University (LA Tech) is pleased inform you that we are partnering with the ASCE UESI (Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute) and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) to offer the 2nd UIS. ...
Jan 18, 2018
MGX Minerals Inc. is pleased to report that engineering partner PurLucid Treatment Solutions has partially commissioned the commercial-scale NFLi5 lithium recovery system at its new manufacturing facility in Calgary, Alberta.
Jan 17, 2018
This free paper lists the top 10 factors to consider when choosing an inspection crawler.
Jan 16, 2018
Schenectady County, New York chooses InfraSteel liner for its Duanesburg Churches Road Bridge Project. County engineers noticed that the 27-year-old corrugated metal arch showed corrosion and needed repair.
Jan 15, 2018
In 2030, 1 person out of 2 will live in arid zone (UN) because of climate change and demographic growth. Water is, from far, the most used raw material in the World with nearly 5000 liters necessary per day and ...
Jan 12, 2018
Industry association British Water has strengthened its team of International Business Mentors with the appointment of Shaun Stevens, business development manager, EPS Water.
Jan 11, 2018
Set to open in December 2017, the new Petronas Lubricants Global Research Center in Santena, Italy, is built on a waterproof below-grade concrete structure that features PENETRON crystalline technology to provide integral protection from high groundwater levels.
Jan 10, 2018
Whether it's a world record with the longest railway tunnel on earth at the Brenner or the epoch-making Gotthard project: the business of mechanized tunnel boring through hard rock is currently reaching new heights in Europe. Now Scandinavia is discovering ...
Jan 09, 2018
New plant technology was officially unveiled at Cranfield University that will enable researchers to remove and recover nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater for use by the fertilizer and chemical industries.
Jan 08, 2018
Organizers of PLASTIC PIPES XIX report that Gold level sponsorship of their Conference and Exhibition is now complete with the addition of McELROY and LyondellBasell.
Jan 05, 2018
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission unanimously approved a settlement that allows Pennsylvania American Water to raise water and wastewater rates, effective January 1, 2018. The primary factor behind the rate increase is the approximately $1.26 billion of investments to replace ...
Jan 04, 2018
This annual gathering convenes in Palm Springs, California, March 25-29 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The 2018 No-Dig Show returns to the West Coast and California for the first since 2013, when it was held in Sacramento.