Boskalis Has Expanded Tunnel Projects

by Super User
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Boskalis experts are particularly experienced with the construction of immersed tunnels. How are tunnels like this built?

Jan: “Immersed tunnels are usually built to cross main waterways. The tunnel structure consists of prefabricated elements that are usually made in a building dock close to the tunnel. The separate segments are fitted out with temporary bulkheads at either end. Once the tunnel elements are ready, the dry dock is flooded and the segments are floated. After the construction site has been dredged to exactly the correct depth, the elements are moved to the right location. They are then immersed one by one and joined up. Gina and Omega seals are generally used for the joints. In short: these are rubber profiles ensuring a watertight connection between the elements. Pumping the water out of the immersion joint results in the elements being pressed firmly together by the surrounding water pressure.”


Jan: “Even back in the 1960s, Boskalis was a partner in various roles in Dutch projects such as the construction of the Coen Tunnel, the IJ Tunnel, the Benelux Tunnel and the Heinenoord Tunnel. When I joined Boskalis almost 38 years ago, we were working on the construction of the Kil and Drecht Tunnels. Not long after, we were also called in to work on the construction of the Liefkenshoek Tunnel in Antwerp. Our work here included moving, positioning and immersing the tunnel elements, and foundation work using sand flow. In most of the earlier tunnel projects, the Boskalis role was limited to activities like dredging the trench, sand flow and armoring for the elements. As our company has extended its scope in recent years, our involvement in tunnel projects has also become wider. For example, we are also involved in the transport and immersion of the tunnel elements now. We were involved throughout the construction of the tunnels in Warnow in Rostock, Germany and in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico (see inset). During the construction of the Warnow Tunnel, our German subsidiary Boskalis Hirdes did all the dredging work and we were involved in the rest of the tunnel construction in a joint venture. The work on this tunnel, involving six elements near the center of Rostock, was a major project for our German company.” Simon concludes: “As a result of the extension of the scope of Boskalis activities in areas including civil infrastructure, subsea services, specialist survey work, heavy marine transport, and lifting and towage work, we are in a good position for the various major tunnel projects coming onto the market.”


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