April 22-28, the World Tunnel Congress (WTC) will convene in San Francisco, marking the first time the International Tunneling Association (ITA) has held its annual event in the United States since 1996, when it was held in Washington, D.C. It is a time for the United States to showcase some of its many contributions to tunneling technology made over the past two decades.
The theme of the WTC 2016 is “Uniting the Industry.” WTC 2016 is taking the place of the biennial North American Tunneling Conference (NAT), which will return in 2018. Urban underground space use is rapidly increasing worldwide as a result of urbanization as well as the need to build or improve infrastructure systems. The World Tunnel Congress provides the venue for industry professionals from across the globe to learn from others as we address the challenges.
Organizers are expecting more than 2,500 delegates from around the world to the Moscone Center in the heart of San Francisco. The top-tier technical session features 800 industry speakers while the 138,000-sq ft exhibit hall will host more than 200 exhibitors from around the globe. The World Tunnel Congress also features the annual ITA general assembly, where representatives from member nations get together to report on their latest initiatives and discuss the future of ITA. ITA training and educational sessions and working group meetings are also on the schedule.
If you normally attend NAT or the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC), then you will surely want to attend WTC. It has all of the hallmarks of those two events with the added reach of the international tunneling community. For more information on WTC or to register, visit wtc2016.org.
We are very fortunate to have many great images grace the pages of TBM. Many of these are submitted by companies we work with in compiling the articles, sometimes without attribution (and sometimes with editing). I would like to acknowledge that the cover image from the December 2015 issue of TBM was taken by Thanh Nguyen, Document Controls Manager of Salini Impregilo, part of Impregilo/Healy/Parsons JV building the Anacostia River project for DC Water. Thanks for a great photo!