The Rotterdamsebaan Tunnel is part of a traffic congestion solution for The Hague which will combine with the Rijnlandroute Tunnel.
Construction of the Rotterdamsebaan Tunnel began for the tunnel department October 2017 when we were invited to supply personnel for assembly of the TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) and ancillary equipment such as the slurry treatment plant and the grout mixing plant.
The type of TBM used is classified as a slurry machine which uses a fluid mixture to transport the excavated material. This TBM is 11.3 metres in diameter (almost equivalent to a 3 story house) and weighs approximately 1000 tons.
As with most TBM’s this machine installs concrete segments to form a ring as it advances, these rings form a secure structure and will support the pre-cast road deck beams that vehicles will eventually run on. Each complete ring weighs more than 100 tons, the segments that make up a ring are transported into the TBM by a vehicle called an MSV (Multi Service Vehicle), and they are also used to transport the grout and service pipes needed for TBM cooling water.
In January 2018 the TBM was launched to begin excavating the first of two tunnels which is expected to be completed to be completed around the end of May or early June. The TBM will be dismantled, returned to the start shaft for reassembly. It will then be used to drive the second tunnel. For the tunnel drives iPS has so far provided 19 specialist people, with the possibility to increase these numbers as the project progresses. Our specialist’s perform a variety of tasks such electrical / mechanical work, assembly of the concrete rings, MSV driving, crane operation and operation of the separation plant centrifuges.
When both tunnels are completed cross tunnels will be constructed every 250 metres to allow people to move between both tunnels in case of an emergency. These excavation of these safety tunnels will utilize ground freezing technology to stabilize the sandy geology before segments can be removed to permit excavation to begin. iPS has access to the right type of people for this work and we may have the chance to support this work.
The Rotterdamsebaan tunnel is due for opening in June 2020.
Photo credit: BAM infra