The Adoption of Mechanized Excavation Techniques for the Superconducting Super Collider

by Christopher Laughton, Superconducting Super Collider Lab, Dallas, United States,
Priscilla P. Nelson, Superconducting Super Collider Lab, Dallas, United States,
Tracy K. Lundin, Superconducting Super Collider Lab, Dallas, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) is the latest and largest in a line of high-energy physics accelerator projects. The five increasingly energetic accelerators which make up the physics laboratory complex are to be housed almost entirely in subsurface structures, which will include over 100 km of small-diameter tunnel. Among other reasons, the Texas SSC site was chosen from a set of state proposals because of the suitability of the host rock materials for the performance of rapid and efficient excavation work. The site bedrock units are relatively soft and homogeneous and should allow for a maximum use of mechanical excavation plant for the various underground openings. This paper will review the site conditions and describe the developed understanding of geologic material behavior. With completion of planned large-scale in-situ studies of the ground behavior to provide acquisition of early site-specific excavation data, final design and construction detail of critical structures can be undertaken with the necessary degree of confidence to satisfy the stringent performance requirements.

Subject Headings: Excavation | Material properties | Underground construction | Tunnels | Structural behavior | Data collection | Construction methods | Construction sites | Texas | United States

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