Sealing the Subway

by James E. Monsees, P.E., (F.ASCE), Tech. Dir. for Underground Engrg. and Sr. Vice Pres.; Parsons Brinckerhoff, Orange, CA,
Amanda Elioff, P.E., (M.ASCE), Professional Assoc.; Parsons Brinckerhoff, Los Angeles, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 12, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Although work on the Los Angeles Metro subway is stopped for now, the project has introduced a number of innovations and advances to the American tunneling community, including the use of HDPE membranes to keep deadly gases (as well as water) out of tunnels, stations, and other underground structures; specifications for pressure-face tunnel boring machines for metro tunnels; the development of a one-pass precast tunnel lining segment system with double gaskets; and the development of distortion-based seismic design criteria for underground structures. Despite these many innovations, new materials and approaches may be needed for these structures to remain stable under high levels and large numbers of earthquake-induced distortion cycles.

Subject Headings: Underground structures | Tunnels | Subways | Seismic design | Innovation | Distortion (structural) | Water tunnels

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