Retractable TBM for ARC's Palisades tunnel Jul 2010
Desiree Willis, Technical Writer, The Robbins Company
- A Robbins main beam TBM capable of being retracted back through its own driven tunnel is selected to excavate the Palisades Tunnels for the New Jersey Transit's ARC project.
- PTP Constructors, a JV of Schiavone, Shea, and Skanska, will use the 8.38m (27.5ft) diameter machine to excavate the twin rail tunnels some 1.6km through the Palisades to the Hoboken access shaft on the New Jersey side of the project. The Access to the Region's Core (ARC) project stretches from North Bergen, New Jersey, under the Hudson River in the first new rail runnel built under the river in more than 100 years, to a new station cavern excavation under Penn Station in Manhattan, New York City.
Robbins retractable Palisades TBM will be similar to the East Side Access machine
- The Robbins High Performance (HP) TBM will be dressed with 19in diameter cutters for decreased cutter changes and faster penetration rates through the hard rock of the Palisades. The geology consists primarily of diabase with some sandstone and siltstone at strengths of 125 MPa to 300 MPa (18,100- 43,500 psi) UCS.
- The retractable TBM design will be similar to the Robbins main beam machine that was used successfully on New York's East Side Access project tunnels under Park Avenue into station caverns blasted in the rock under Grand Central Station. Hydraulic side, roof, and cutterhead supports, combined with a bolted cutterhead design, will enable the TBM to be backed through its own bored tunnel drive, complete with temporary ground support.
- The new TBM will be manufactured at the Robbins Solon, Ohio, USA facility, and shipped to the jobsite by early July 2011. Launch will take place in Autumn 2011 from a 90m (300ft) long pit at the North Bergen site.
- New Jersey Transit's ARC Tunnels, when complete, will consist of parallel 5.8km (3.6 mile) long tunnels passing under the Hudson River and terminating in Manhattan. Separate contracts will excavate the project's soft ground tunnels under the Hudson and the hard rock tunnels and station cavern excavation in Manhattan.
- Due to go online in 2020, the $US8.7 billion ARC project is the largest transit infrastructure project currently under construction in the USA. Once complete, the new rail line will double peak capacity of the commuter rail services, which last built a trans-Hudson tunnel in the early 1900s. Commuter ridership between New Jersey and New York has quadrupled since 1984 and is forecast to double again over the next two decades.
- Strong competition for first ARC contract - TunnelTalk, Nov 2009
ARC's Manhattan railway tunnels awarded - TunnelTalk, Dec 2009
Five JVs vie for Hudson River crossing - TunnelTalk, Jan 2010
East Side Access optimization - TunnelTalk, Aug 2008
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