The LA Times is reporting that the California bullet train project may be facing significant budget and schedule issues, largely because of a 13.5-mile tunnel beneath Pacheco Pass east of Gilroy. The article reports that the current budget for the 54-mile segment between Gilroy and Chowchilla is $5.5B, but experts that they interviewed for the story put the cost of the twin-bore tunnel itself at between $5.6 to $14.4B. Geological and geotechnical drilling and testing are currently underway for the tunnel which will be up to 1,000 feet below ground through the challenging Franciscan Complex. Don’t forget about the challenges of a seismically active area and at least one major fault crossing. The designers and engineers for that project are going to have their hands full with that one!
The Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) has a major transit improvement project dubbed the North Shore Connector. Its main components are twin bored tunnels 1.2 miles long that will connect the Port Authorityâ€™s Light Rail Transit system, the T, 1.2 miles from the Gateway Subway Station underneath Stanwix Street and the Allegheny River to the North Shore. It will travel under the river and provide three new stations and allow for future improvements beneficial to future development and continued downtown revitalization. The $435 million project is making news recently for cost increases, drawing comparisons to Bostonâ€™s Big Dig much to the dismay of the Port Authority. Read on for project maps, links and more info.