Roof drills on the TBM installing 20-ft long rock bolts in the ceiling of the Niagara Tunnel
Project Related

A Novel Approach at Niagara: Robbins TBM Stands Up to Challenging Ground with Custom Lining and Ground Support

This article describes the challenges faced by the World’s largest hard rock TBM (47.2-ft in diameter) as it tunnels through some very difficult geology while constructing a massive tunnel under Niagara Falls for hydroelectric power […]

NASA JPL Gulf Stream III research test bed with Synthetic Aperture Radar pod underneath.

Good Stuff From Ontario-geofish

NASA JPL Gulf Stream III research test bed with Synthetic Aperture Radar pod underneath. This is not the first time I’ve posted links to blog posts from the Ontario-geofish blog by Harold A. Some times I blatantly rip him off, but hopefully he doesn’t mind since I try to credit him whenever I post about an article he found. I guess he has more time for surfing since he’s retired! 🙂 Here are a couple of his recent posts that I found interesting. (Image by NASA)


Project Related

Niagara Tunnel – Crappy rock, Horizontal stress, SLOOOOOW progress

image[Updated November 17, 2009] A few new posts from Ontario-geofish [/Updated]

Those with interest in rock mechanics and tunneling might be interested in this project. The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) company is the owner of a $600M (Canadian) construction project to create a third hydro power tunnel under Niagara Falls.  Apparently the project is having all kinds of problems with overbreak in some very difficult tunneling conditions which means very slow progress and big $$ overruns. (Photo from

I’ve been meaning to post something on this project for some time. I admit that my perspective is biased by the viewpoint you can find on the Ontario-geofish blog. I’ve mentioned Harold Asmis before, he’s the owner of the OG blog, and a former OPG employee if I understand correctly. He left OPG for a career doing geophysics and earthquake engineering for the Nuclear Power industry in Canada.  I highly recommend his blog, he has great insight into tunneling, earthquakes, siting of nuclear power plants not to mention opinions on all kinds of other things.  His writing style is very colorful and entertaining as well.

So, Harold has written a whole series of blog posts on the Niagra Tunnel project, including a 5-part series entitled "The Disaster of the Niagara Tunnel" and a 4-part series called "Niagara Tunnel: doing it Right".  He is not directly involved with the project, but his long career with OPG and related disciplines gives him some great insights.  I’ve collected a list of some of his blog posts on the Niagara Tunnel project as well as a few other links about the project. Click through for the good stuff.