Thomas R. Kuesel, 1926-2010
In Memoriam

Bridge and Tunnel Engineer, Thomas R. Kuesel 1926-2010

Thomas R. Kuesel, 1926-2010 Newport Bridge, Newport, R.I., much of the BART subway system and Boston’s Big Dig were among the numerous significant projects worked on by the late Thomas R. Kuesel. He was a well known civil engineer and tunneling expert, co-editor of the “Tunnel Engineering Handbook,” a standard reference for design and construction used worldwide. One of his most noteworthy tunneling projects was the NORAD Combat Operations Center beneath Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, built during the height of the Cold War and designed to withstand a nuclear blast. Read on for a full obituary chronicling his distinguished career.


Directiona core drilling

Directional Core Drilling for Tunneling

When you’re doing a geological investigation for a tunnel, only having vertical or traditional angled core holes only gives you a very limited picture of geology of the rock mass through which you’re going to […]

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.