An Education in Tunneling

by Thomas R. Kuesel, Chairman of the Board; Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc., One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 3, Pg. 76-78

Document Type: Feature article


A senior civil engineer and winner of the 1988 Martin Kapp Foundation Engineering Award describes the evolution of U.S. tunneling technology and practice. Trained as a structural engineer, he was initiated into tunneling practice in the 1960s with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system, called BART. Engineers' estimates for the subway were so far above the money allotted that redesign was essential. Ralph Peck, a well-known soils engineer and tunneling specialist, educated the young structural engineer, who has since made his career in subsurface structures. The difference between European practice, especially the New Austrian Tunneling Method, and U.S. practice is detailed with the reasons for the differences. The history of liners, and the different types used is also included. Cooperation between structural and geotechnical engineers and contractors is urged. Case histories illustrate the points made.

Subject Headings: Rapid transit systems | Education | Tunneling | Case studies | Awards and prizes | Bays | Subways | Subsurface environment | San Francisco Bay Area | California | United States

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