In this issue we take a look ahead to 2013 and beyond as it relates to the tunneling market. Two things appear to be certain: 1) the demand for tunnels remains strong (although the question becomes whether there is available funding and/or political will to bring these projects to fruition), and 2) California is shaping up as the next tunneling capital of the United States.
In our State of Industry Roundtable beginning on page 18, we asked tunneling professionals from across North America to weigh in. Our participants included: Lester Bradshaw, David Caiden, David Egger, Lok Home, Colin Lawrence, Matt Pope and Derek Zoldy. Additionally, Jeff Petersen senior vice president of Kiewit Construction Co. and current chairman of the UCA of SME, shares his views on the state of the market, which he presented at the Tunnelling Association of Canadaís biennial conference in Montreal in October.
As for demand, sustainability and green initiatives, as well as traffic congestion and the continuing trend toward urbanization, are driving subway and transit schemes in urban areas: Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the West, New York and Toronto in the East. Meanwhile, EPA consent decree programs are leading to the construction of combined sewer overflow tunnels throughout the country, including the Midwest. As water supply becomes an increasing concern in the arid West, more water supply projects are likely to be discussed, such as the mammoth Bay Delta Tunnel project.
As projects begin to ramp up in California, including three tunnel projects of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority which is amid an aggressive build out of its network, work is starting to wind down in New York. In July, MTA announced that the last of tunnel boring was complete on its three megaprojects: East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway and 7 Line Extension. Tunnel boring on those projects included seven machines completing 16 separate drives, beginning with the East Side Access Manhattan tunnels in 2007, and concluding with the East Side Access tunnels in Queens. A recap of the drives, courtesy MTA, is below. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of TBM, and I look forward to seeing many of you at tunneling events in 2013.