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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 4   
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Crossrail First spray concrete lined tunnels completedCrossrail

Crossrail First spray concrete lined tunnels complete-2

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First spray concrete lined tunnels completed

The project’s first two sprayed concrete tunnels have been constructed under Finsbury Circus in the City of London. The works are part of construction for Crossrail Liverpool Street station. The 4.5 metre diameter tunnels have been built from the main access shaft within the Finsbury Circus worksite.

The two tunnels are temporary structures and will be used for compensation grouting, one of the ways that Crossrail will control any ground movements that could result from tunnelling activity.

Small diameter tubes (Tubes a’ Manchette) will be drilled and installed from the temporary tunnels allowing the contractor to inject grout into the ground. This will stabilise the ground and limit surface settlement.

A Sprayed Concrete Lining (SCL) technique has been used to build these tunnels. This technique involves rapidly spraying the excavated ground with concrete to stabilise it and form the permanent tunnel lining. The first SCL tunnel measures 80 m in length and the second (running east from the worksite) is 100 m long.

The Spray Concrete Lining technique will be used to build 12 km of station platform tunnels, passages, access and grout tunnels along the Crossrail route where smaller, relatively short tunnels are needed.

Unlike bored tunnels, SCL allows variation in the tunnel shape and diameter and 7.5 km of SCL tunnels will become permanent features of the project.

The 4.5 metre diameter tunnels have been built from the main access shaft within the Finsbury Circus worksite.    Colin Niccolls, Crossrail’s Whitechapel & Liverpool Street Platform Tunnels Project Manager said, “Crossrail will primarily use two different types of tunnelling technique to build the new rail tunnels and stations.

The 4.5 metre diameter tunnels have been built from the main access shaft within the Finsbury Circus worksite.

While tunnel boring machines will create the new rail tunnels, work has commenced on creating the station tunnels using mining techniques to excavate the ground which is then sprayed with shotcrete to form the tunnel linings.”

The works are being undertaken by BBMV JV (Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Alpine BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and VINCI Construction) as part of the C510 contract – Early Access Shafts and Spray Concrete Lining works for Whitechapel and Liverpool Street station tunnels.

Works at Connaught Tunnel pick up pace

Crossrail has begun drilling wells at Connaught Tunnel to draw down the water table ahead of works to deepen and widen the 130 year old tunnel in east London.

Once the wells are completed, drawing down of the water table will begin next month which is required ahead of works to widen and deepen the central section of the Connaught Tunnel so it can accommodate Crossrail’s larger trains.

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