Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
- The Niagara water delivery tunnel, the Euclid Creek CSO tunnel in Ohio, USA, and Dr Peter Kaiser are nominations recognized this week by the Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) as recipients of the 2013 achievement awards.
- At a gala dinner awards ceremony in Vancouver on Friday evening (15 Nov 2013), TAC President Rick Lovat announced the awards that were introduced by a video summary and presented by officials of the TAC executive committee.
- Canadian project of the year for 2013 was announced as the Niagara water delivery tunnel for Ontario Power Generation that came on line to increase hydropower generation at the Sir Adam Beck installation on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in March 2013. As a marker in the history of international underground construction, the Niagara Tunnel Project is recognized for overcoming its many challenges and difficulties and for the several firsts achieved by its design and construction.
- As well as being excavated by the largest hard rock gripper TBM to date at 14.4m diameter, the tunnel is lined with the largest diameter pre-stressed in-situ concrete lining ever. Started in August 2006, excavation of the 10km long tunnel was completed finally in March 2011.
- The 2013 award for the international project to which a Canadian company made a significant contribution was presented to Canadian contractor McNally Construction as sponsor of the JV that completed the Euclid Creek Tunnel Project in Ohio, USA. McNally was instrumental in working with its JV partner Kiewit and introducing several new construction techniques to the CSO interceptor tunnel that will prevent combined wastewater overflows into Euclid Creek and protect the environment of Lake Eire.
- Steve Skelhorne, Project Manager for McNally Construction accepted the award and explained how the introduction of steel fibre reinforced precast concrete segments as a one-pass liner for the CSO tunnel project saved several months on the construction program. TBM excavation of the 3.4 miles x 24ft diameter tunnel started in 2012 and the project is due for completion and to come into service in 2015.
- The TAC Canadian Tunneller of the Year award for 2013 is presented to Dr Peter Kaiser for his career as Canada's leading expert on rock mechanics and tunneling in high stress environments and his contribution to the understanding of time-dependent rock behaviour, brittle rock failure, ground support and microseismicity.
- Through a long and distinguished career as an advisor and consultant, he has worked on some of the world's most challenging tunnelling projects and has published more than 200 technical papers.
- Dr Kaiser is currently Vice President of the Center for Excellence in Mining and the driving force behind the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Construction based in Sudbury, Canada.
From left: John Tait, Oskar Roittner and Rick Everdell accept the Niagara Project of the Year Award
- In accepting the Canada project of the year award, Rick Everdell, Project Director for owner Ontario Power Generation (OPG); John Tait, Project Manager for Hatch Mott MacDonald, OPG's representative, in association with Hatch, on the project; and Oskar Roittner, Project Director for Strabag, the contractor; each explained the geological difficulties encountered, the contractual strains faced as time and costs increased and the tremendous efforts expended, and by The Robbins Company also as supplier of the record 14.4m diameter hard rock TBM, in keeping the project on track and push towards the successful completion.
- Two further awards were presented on the evening.
- First was the 2013 Dan Eisenstein Memorial Scholarship presented to a post-graduate student of Canadian citizenship planning to undertake or currently undertaking post-graduate studies in the field of tunnelling at a recognized university in Canada. Presented in honour of Dr Eisenstein who was Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at The University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a Past President of the ITA (International Tunneling and Underground Space Association) from 1992 to 1995, the scholarship of $5,000 was awarded to Michelle van der Pouw Kraan.
Dan Eisenstein memorial scholarship award
- The second was an award of recognition to Rick Staples as the past President of TAC and the representative for Canada at the ITA General Assembly since 2013. The award was presented by current TAC President Rick Lovat who explained how Staples remains committed to the work of TAC and is always available to offer help and advice to the running of the Association.
- The Awards Dinner was part of the Rock Tunnelling Workshop organised by TAC as a two-day course for those involved in tunnelling and underground mining. Prepared as an event of high level study, the program included lectures by leading international practitioners in their field.
Rick Staples honored as a past President of TAC
Dr Nick Barton described the Q-system of rock mass classification; Jens Classen, introduced mechanical excavation techniques; and Gordon Revey, spoke of drill and blast excavations. Discussions included:
• An introduction to study the Q-System of Rock Mass
• Tunnel Support Selection from Q Classification and Support
• Field Logging Practice: Logging Rock Core and Rock
Exposures, Q-Linkages Selection
• Mechanical Excavation: Principles of Rock Cutting, Logistics
and Rock Support, Industry Innovations
• Drill and Blast Excavation: Blast Design, Blast Vibrations,
• Health and Safety: Guide To Safety in Tunnelling in
• A Panel Discussion: Geology, Design, Risk and Safety
- During the Awards Dinner, the guest speaker was Frank Huber, Deputy Manager of the Engineering and Construction Department for Metro Vancouver who spoke of the Department's current Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel under the Fraser River which is being used as a test case to study the geological challenges and risks that will be involved in two new water supply tunnel crossings; the Second Narrows tunnel under the Burrard Inlet between North Vancouver and Burnaby, which is at the end of its preliminary design, and the Annasis tunnel also under the Fraser River which is in conceptual design.
- The Workshop and the Awards Dinner was attended and enjoyed by more than 230 participants and nominations for the TAC 2014 Achievement Awards are now open. Nomination forms can be found on the TAC website.
Niagara plan of attack - TunnelTalk, December 2006
Accounting for slow progress at Niagara - TunnelTalk, July 2008
Breakthrough ends TBM journey at Niagara - TunnelTalk, May 2011
Euclid Creek CSO storage solution - TunnelTalk,19 June 2013
Dan Eisenstein, 1936-2009 - TunnelTalk, June 2009
ITA Tunnelling Awards and TAC Tunneller of the Year 2012, Toronto, Canada - TunnelTalk, December 2012
WTC2010 Vancouver, Canada a terrific success, Video report - TunnelCast, May 2010
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