The demand for tunnels in various challenging location is growing and a s result engineers and constructers ought to remain abreast amidst the technologies that keep on changing. These new technologies and methods should be applied in a way that reduces the general impact on the public and to the best benefit of the construction project.  There is a worldwide boom in the construction of tunnels and this development is driven by two major factors. The first factor that has greatly increased the demand for tunnels is the increasing of merchandising managements and the increase of trade goods exponentially. Secondly, there has been an unabated individual traffic growth and this calls for a continuously quick extension of the traffic network.

Construction of tunnels may not be easy as you imagine, a lot of advanced machines need to be used and experienced experts in this field must be involved to ensure that the tunnel constructed is firm and you do not need to be afraid of your safety when using the tunnel. With the development of new technologies that are more reliable, tunnel construction has been made simpler and a number of these technologies have been implemented as seen below.

An advanced geological prediction system that is integrated

A tunnel passes through complex geology and this makes it nearly Impossible to understand the geology conditions in terms of technology and time before excavation of the tunnel. Recently an advanced geological prediction technology has been developed to aid in assessing and prediction of the geological conditions of the area where the tunnel passes through during the process of tunnel construction.  There are several geological prediction technologies methods that have been proposed but they all have their difference in terms of adaptability.

In order to obtain reliable predictions, an integrated geological prediction system is needed and it involves four stages.  That is the immediate-term prediction, short-term prediction, medium –term prediction and a long-term prediction. The long-term prediction is used in finding the microscopic geologies like the strata logging, rock type, faults and fractured zones for the tunnel as a whole.

Use of dedusting technologies in the construction of a ventilation system

In the construction of high speed railways tunnels, the blast and drill method has been deployed widely. In order to provide an environmentally friendly and a good working condition, there is a need to improve the quality of air in the tunnel especially if the tunnel is long and contains a high content of gas.  Traditionally, ventilations are used in the dilution of dust and gas and it has been seen that the use of ventilation only is not such effective neither is it electricity costly.

 Since the use of traditional ventilators produces air that is not of good quality, a new technique has been developed to solve this.  This is done through the incorporation of a dusting technology by use of dust collectors in the ventilation scheme.  The choice of the dust collector depends on a number of factors such as the size, cost, maintenance, effectiveness and the type of dust.  Three major dust collectors have been used in improving the ventilation of tunnels and they include the franklinic dust collector, wet dust collector and a bag dust collectors and they have shown effectiveness in the collection of dust although a bag dust collector is preferred as it occupies a smaller space, it has higher reliability and stability and is more effective compared with the other two types of dust collectors.

Optimization of invert installation

As a way of minimizing the aerodynamic in double track tunnels of high speed railways, a section area that is big is utilized and the most assuring way of the stability of a tunnel is through the use of a tunneling bench method.  Traditional bench method has been used but they do not meet the standards and requirement hence as a way of solving this, the optimization of the invert installation has been used.  The construction procedures of a tunnel such as the lining, the drainage system and the excavation advance rate are greatly impacted by the use of invert installations.

Due to lack of the relevant technologies and construction equipment’s in the construction of railway tunnel currently, an integral invert casting and a fast invert advance construction rate cannot be achieved.  In order to meet the invert installation requirements, a rig has been developed as a way of achieving a fast invert construction of high quality. Based on the advancing new technologies, tunneling construction keeps on evolving and the Tunnel Boring Machines are seen to improve in terms of safety, adaptability and speed. Grouting and TBM technologies have been developed to aid in the reduction of potential settlement to a net zero settlement. Real time GPS systems have been used in driving TBMs and this as greatly helped in keeping the TBMs focus on the target.  With these tunneling technologies, the main focus has been on the evaluation of risks and what if scenarios have been assessed in more details and coming up with solutions to solve such kind of scenarios.