Slashing Tunnel Costs

by Reinhard Gnilsen, Chf. Design Engr.; Law/Geoconsult International, Inc., 1140 Hammand Drive NE, Suite 5250, Building E, Atlanta, GA 30328,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 11, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


The second U.S. application of the New Austrian Tunneling Method at Washington D.C.'s Metro system is described. The innovative method has been used overseas, but American engineers have been conservative about adopting the system here. At the Wheaton Station and tunnel, the contractor proposed the method as a value engineering change and saved several million dollars, mainly due to less excavation and by eliminating the need for a separate steel-reinforced concrete tunnel liner. The method takes both geotechnical and structural aspects of the ground formation into account. The excavation is considered as both a load exerting and load carrying ring. After blasting, immediate support elements control ground movement and take advantage of the ground's self-carrying capacity.

Subject Headings: Tunnels | Value engineering | Excavation | Load factors | Tunneling | Subways | Innovation | Contractors and subcontractors | Washington | United States

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