Some Ideas for Reducing Subway Construction Costs

by Thomas D. O'Rourke, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; School of Civ. & Environmental Engrg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 11, Pg. 41-44

Document Type: Feature article


This article presents the conclusions of a major study made during the past few years of both U.S. and European practices in building subways. Among the key conclusions: Planners and designers should consider making subway stations and subway-tunnel diameters smaller. Subway stations alone can account for up to 80% of the subway cost. The people-carrying capacity of the system shouldn't be larger than necessary. Less restrictive specs on such things as the amount of leakage of water permissible into the tunnel could substantially reduce cost. Other things that could cut cost include better written contracts and better overall project management.

Subject Headings: Subways | Construction costs | Leakage | Tunnels | Contracts | Building management

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