Jan. 14 Bertha Update: Going Hyperbaric – Source: WSDOT This press release by WSDOT is fascinating, you should definitely check it out. It describes the hyperbaric intervention that deep see divers performed to try and determine what has impeded the progress of the Bertha TBM on the Alaska Way Viaduct Tunnel project. They describe how a bentonite mud is injected in front of the cutterhead to create a "membrane" so they could pump air into the excavation chamber to create an air bubble that the hyperbaric divers could work in. The air pushes the bentonite membrane into the soil face and holds back the soil and water. They use the screw conveyor to remove sufficient material from the excavation chamber so that the divers can work in the top half of the excavation chamber.
Jan. 21 Bertha Update: Initial Results of Hyperbaric Inspections – Source: WSDOT In this press release, WSDOT reported that as of January 21, STP divers had spent more than 35 hours under hyperbaric conditions inspecting the TBM cutterhead from inside the excavation chamber. They removed a piece of bent well casing, pieces of PVC pipe, and found a large boulder or piece of concrete in a cutterhead opening.
Jan. 23 Bertha Update: More Hyperbaric Work, No New Findings – Source: WSDOT In this press release, WSDOT mainly just updated the total tally of hours worked by the deep see divers in the TBM intervention at the cutterhead. As of January 23, they were up to 68 hours of work performed during 17 sessions.
Jan. 31 Bertha Update: Further evaluation required before tunneling can resume – Source: WSDOT Bertha moved forward about 2 feet on January 28 to test the cutterhead and build the next tunnel liner ring. STP crews observed abnormally high temperatures in some components, similar to what was observed during the original stoppage on December 6. The made adjustments, moved forward another 2 feet but the temperatures persisted. The analysis will continue.
The latest information to come out of the collapse of a subway tunnel excavation in Cologne, Germany is that investigators are evaluating the ground anchors or tiebacks that were holding open the subway tunnel excavation. There doesn’t appear to be much information available to the public yet, and the New Civil Engineer article mostly quoted academics saying an anchor failure “could” have caused the collapse. Apparently at the time of the collapse, the excavation had reached the bottom depth after the slurry walls had been constructed along with the ground anchor system. Crews were supposedly working on the base slab which would have undoubtedly stiffened up the whole system. For what its worth, an anonymous comment left at the bottom of that article indicated that after half of the debris had been excavated, the diaphragm walls were still intact and without apparent displacement. So what other theories have been floated? Read on for more info. (Image Credit: New Civil Engineer)
This is a great video montage of rock blasting for Washington State DOT’s I-90 Snoqualmie Pass project. It’s not clear from the description if this blasting actually occurred on this project or its from other […]
This 57-km tunnel under the Swiss Alps has nearly broken through after 11-years of work. This tunnel will create a ‘flat’ rail path through the Alps and become the world’s longest rail tunnel. [Source: World […]