The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) has honoured eight projects and individuals from the tunnelling industry at its annual ITA Tunnelling Awards.
Working from a list of 100 candidates, a shortlist of 30 were chosen and the companies involved invited to present further details of the projects at the recent ITA conference in Singapore, before the winning entries were selected.
The major project of 2016 was adjudged to be the New Guanjiao Tunnel (pictured), part of the second line of the Xining-Golmud section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in China. The 32.7km-long two-set single-track tunnel project is located at an average elevation of 3,400m.
The tunnelling project of the year, with a budget of €50–500M, was the Downtown Line Stage 3 Contract 937 project for the Fort Canning Station and tunnels of Singapore's underground metro system, which involved tunnelling in close proximity to national monuments, building foundations, and other operating metro lines.
For projects up to €50M, the ITA honoured work on the Chongqing Hongqihegou metro station in China. Work on London Undergound's Vauxhall Station conducted by Bechtel and designed by Gall Zeidler Consultants, with tunnelling works carried out by Joseph Gallagher Ltd., to provide the station with step-free access was named the renovation/upgrade project of the year.
The large-diameter shield tunnelling used to create a metro line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was awarded technical innovation of the year. A 5.2km-long tunnel was excavated using a hybrid earth pressure balance shield, with a diameter of 11.5m, through complex geology including hard abrasive rock and areas of pure sand.
The ITA also awarded Absis the Safety Initiative of the Year, and honoured The Emscher Project in Germany with the title of Environmental Initiative of the Year.
Dr. Martin Herrenknecht, founder of Herrenknecht AG, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Derek Eng was named the Young Tunneller of the Year.
Alex Conacher, editor of Tunnels & Tunnelling magazine, commented on the ITA Awards: "These are the only awards endorsed by the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) and all major tunnelling media. Held each year in a different country around the world, the awards recognise and celebrate projects of significant achievement in the tunnelling world, technological developments and applications, and the nous of individual engineers and companies."