Subway Designs and Construction Methods That Cut Costs

by James A. Birkmyer, (M.ASCE), Proj. Engr.; Bechtel, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 10, Pg. 62-65

Document Type: Feature article


The high cost of subway construction in the United States can be reduced by adopting station and track structure configurations, structural systems, and construction techniques best suited to the site geology and other constraints. The mixed soils and high water tables generally encountered in U.S. cities, together with a highly mechanized construction industry, constrains subway design and construction. For such conditions, estimates are provided that indicate the influence on cost of length and diameter of tunnels in different materials. Costs of stations constructed by cut-and-cover and by tunnel-enlargement are also compared. Alternative station construction techniques are described.

Subject Headings: Construction methods | Construction sites | Structural systems | Subways | Construction costs | Soil water | Tunnels | Geology | United States

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