For the past several years, we here at TBM have kicked off the New Year by inviting a panel of tunneling professionals to share their views on the North American tunneling market in the coming year(s). Most are in agreement that the market is still growing, albeit slower than in recent years and slower than in some other parts of the world.
Aging infrastructure, environmental mandates and needed upgrades to our transportation network, however, provide a healthy outlook for projects in the near term here. Robust growth may be dependent upon the availability of funding. There are many large-scale projects being dreamed up, but getting all the pieces of the financial puzzle to fit together can be more challenging than Mother Nature’s most
Some trends that are occurring in the industry are making some projects possible, or at least more likely. Notably, technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds in the last decades, making projects possible that weren’t thought possible in the past. For example, large-diameter TBMs are successfully completing tunnels around the world. In Hong Kong, a 17.6 m Herrenknecht TBM – the world’s largest – has successfully completed its drive through difficult ground.
Here in the United States, the construction of the Port of Miami Tunnel proved a success for large-diameter highway tunnels here.
Additionally, P3 procurement is slowly gaining momentum for tunnel projects, which could provide an added boost to get projects moving. As is stated in the outlook, the successful construction of P3 projects does not necessarily equate to a successful P3 – it remains to be seen how the concession agreement benefits all parties.
In general, the tunneling market looks healthy and the outlook of future mega projects has the potential to push it forward even more. I would like to thank the panelists for this year’s outlook: Jon Klug, Chris Laughton, Verya Nasri and Art Silber. You can read the entire text beginning on page 16.
Each January the tunneling industry celebrates individuals who have made a meaningful impact on the market through the presentation of The Golden Beaver Awards and The Moles Awards.
The Beavers Awards are presented in four categories – Management, Supervision, Engineering and Service & Supply. Receiving this year’s awards were: Bruce E. Grewcock, Chairman and CEO of Kiewit Corp., Management Award; Michael F. Donnino, Senior Vice President and Large Projects Division Manager of Granite Construction Inc., Supervision Award; Randall J. Essex, Executive Vice President and Director of Professional Excellence for Hatch Mott MacDonald, Engineering Award; and Susan Hecker, Executive Vice President and National Director of Contract Surety for Gallagher Construction Services, a division of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Service & Supply Award.
The Moles Awards are presented in two categories – Member and Non-Member. Receiving this year’s awards were: Arthur B. Corwin, President and CEO of Moretrench American Corp., Member, and Wayne E. Jones, Project Manager for Traylor Bros. Inc., Non-Member.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!