Major projects shortlist for ITA 2016 Awards 01 Sep 2016

ITA-AITES News Release

Four outstanding projects are shortlisted for the Major Tunnelling Project of the Year in the more than €500 million category of the international ITA Awards. Sponsored by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) to identify outstanding achievements in the field of tunneling and underground space development, the winner of the 2016 series will follow on from the Eurasia Highway Tunnel Project under the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Turkey as the 2015 winner of the same category.

This year, and from among 13 large-scale infrastructure project nominations, the following four have been shortlisted for the top prize.

Central-Wan Chai bypass – Causeway Bay typhoon shelter section
Hong Kong

Plan of the Central-Wan Chai bypass
Plan of the Central-Wan Chai bypass

The Central, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai districts lie in the heart of Hong Kong and are heavily congested. The new 4.5km long dual three-lane Central – Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB) expressway will relieve congestion along the east-west northern shore of Hong Kong Island.

The Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Section, as part of the CWB project, comprises construction of a 750m tunnel under the sea-bed between the ex-Wan Chai Public Cargo Working Area (ex-PCWA) and the east breakwater of Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter (CBTS).

Construction of the 750m tunnel under the sea-bed took into account the geographic and spatial constraints and operational requirements of the existing facilities. Different construction techniques were applied, including cut-and-cover through temporary reclamation for the section under the ex-PCWA and CBTS, and drill-and-break for the mined tunnel section underneath the existing Cross Harbour Tunnel (CHT) infrastructure.

One of many TBM breakthroughs on the KLMRT-SBL project
One of many TBM breakthroughs on the KLMRT-SBL project

Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit – SBK Line

In Malaysia, Klang Valley, which includes Kuala Lumpur and adjoining cities and towns from the state of Selangor, is home to some seven million people, with an expected increase to 10 million by 2020. This translates to about 18 million trips a day in the Klang Valley. Should these trips be taken by private vehicles, roads in the Valley would be gridlocked throughout the day.

With a vision to establish Kuala Lumpur as amongst the top 20 most liveable cities in the world, the Government of Malaysia embarked on the first mass rapid transit (MRT) project. Together with the existing urban rail network, the MRT will form the backbone of the public transport system in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region.

The first phase of the project involves construction of the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line). Construction of the line began on 8 July 2011. The Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya line (SSP line) will be the second MRT line to be developed.

Structure of the Singapore power tunnel network
Structure of the Singapore power tunnel network

Power Cross – Island Cable Tunnel Project

Singapore Power (SP) owns and operates Singapore’s electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses catering to 1.4 million industrial, commercial and domestic customers. To ensure continual, reliable, secure and high quality power supply and meeting future demand, SP procured a major cable tunnel infrastructure project to criss-cross the island nation North-South and East-West.

The average 60m deep, 35km long tunnel network will house the 400kV and 230kV transmission cable to overcome the existing congestion of underground space and utility services where it is no longer feasible to install multiple transmission cables over long distances by conventional open trench burial. Once completed, the tunnels will enable an efficient and reliable electricity network, faster maintenance and replacement of cables thereby contributing to economic competitiveness and ensuring better quality of life for all.

New Guanjiao Tunnel on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway

The New Guanjiao Tunnel is a key project of the second line of the Xining-Golmud section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway with a total length of 32.690km. The project aims to address the problems of difficult operation and low efficiency where the existing railway climbs over Mount Qinghai Nanshan. The tunnel runs between Tianpeng Station and Chahannuo Station within the Territory of Tianjun County and Wulan County of the Qinghai Province. Construction began on 6 November 2007 and the tunnel was opened to revenue service on 28 December 2014.

Plan of the new Guanjiao railway tunnel (left) and one of the twin-tube tunnel portals (right)

It is the first time that a tunnel of more than 30km long at more than 3,000m elevation, with complex geological conditions due to magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The new tunnel, a twin-tube tunnel with a single track in each tube, operates freight and passenger electrified rail services with a design speed of 160km/hr. It is finished withdouble-block ballastless track, seamless rail, rigid suspension catenary power, and a four-aspect automatic block signal system. Facilities include a 550m long emergency rescue station in the middle of the tunnel and 85 cross passages between the parallel tubes for operational safety.

The other eight categories of the ITA Awards series are:

  • Tunnelling Project of the Year - between €50 million and €500 million
  • Outstanding Tunnelling Project of the Year - up to €50 million
  • Renovation-Upgrading Project of the Year
  • Technical Innovation of the Year
  • Environmental Initiative of the Year
  • Safety Initiative of the Year
  • Innovative Use of Underground Space
  • Young Tunneller of the Year

A short list of nominations for all categories has been established by the panel of judges and the winners for each category will be announced and presented at an ITA Awards conference and Gala Presentation Banquet to be hosted in Singapore on 10 and 11 November 2016

Further details about the ITA Awards, the associated conferences and sponsorship opportunities are available on the ITA Awards website.


Shortlist for ITA Awards 2016 27 Jul 2016

ITA-AITES News Release

The shortlist for this year’s ITA Awards includes 33 entries across nine award categories, from a record 98 entries.

KVMRT Line 1 nominated for Major Project of the Year
KVMRT Line 1 nominated for Major Project of the Year

The annual ITA Awards Conference and Banquet Dinner will this year be held on November 11 in Singapore, the day after a one-day symposium on underground development and technology organised by the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Society of Singapore.

Projects and individuals from 25 different countries are among the final nominations. These are:

Major Project of the Year (€500m+)

Klang Valley MRT tunnelling works (Malaysia)
The new Guanjiao Tunnel of the Qinghai–Tibet Railway (China)
Singapore Cross-Island Cable Tunnel Project (Singapore)
Central–Wan Chai Bypass–Causeway Bay (Hong Kong/China)

Online registration and bookings

Tunnelling Project of the Year (€50–500m)

Downtown Line 3 Contract 937, Fort Canning Station and Tunnels (Singapore)
Venda Nova III Repowering Project (Portugal)
Shenzhen Urban Rail Transit Line 9 Tunnel and Underground Engineering (China)

Outstanding Project of the Year (upto €50m)

Xinzhuang Station–Jimingsi Station Tunnel of Nanjing Metro Line 3 (China)
The Stiberg Garage (Sweden)
Shenzhen Urban Rail Transit Line 9 Tunnel (China)

ITA Awards 2015 ceremony

Renovation/Upgrade Project of the Year

Vauxhall Station Upgrade (UK)
ECOMINT/Tectoproof CA–Rive de Gier Tunnel (France)
ION Orchard Link, upgrade of Orchard MRT and Tang Plaza (Singapore)

Technical Innovation of the Year

SCL waterproofed with bonded membranes (Norway)
Large diameter shield tunnelling in pure sands with hybrid EPB (Brazil)
Uphill excavator (UK)
Auto Inspection Vehicle for NSEW Cable Tunnel (Singapore)
Sandvik GeoSure on-board rock mass analysis system (Finland)

2015 a year of tunnelling in action

Environmental Initiative of the Year

The Emscher Project (Germany)
Underground Waste Deposit Concept, Boliden Odda (Norway)
Stendafjellet Rock Quarry and Underground Waste Disposal Site (Norway)

Safety Initiative of the Year

TunnelSAFE Multi Service Vehicle Refuge Chamber (Australia)
Total Safety Management Framework (Singapore)
Activity-Based Safety Improvement Initiative (Singapore)

Innovative Use of Underground Space

Jurong Rock caverns (Singapore)
Underground Waste Depositing at Boliden Odda (Norway)
Stendafjellet Rock Quarry and Underground Waste Disposal Site (Norway)

Brunel Trophy for the winners

Young Tunneller of the Year

Marlisio Oliveira Cecilio Junior (Brazil)
Mehdi Bakhshi (USA)
Derek Eng (Malaysia)
Oh Jinnie (Singapore)
Jiang Chao (China)
G.T. Senthilnath (Singapore)

The symposium, conference and Awards ceremony banquet will take place on November 10–11 at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Conference Centre. The symposium on November 10 will focus on reinventing urban planning, anticipating urban expansion and building the cities of the future by combining both mechanisation and renewable resources,

Booking is now open at


ITA call for 2016 Awards nominations 09 Mar 2016

ITA News Release

Following the success of last year’s ITA Awards at the Hagerbach underground test facility in Switzerland, nominations are now being sought for the 2016 event to be held in Singapore.

Profiling particularly outstanding achievements of underground infrastructure across the world through these Awards, the ITA intends to identify and support a wide and diverse range of tunnelling projects, from large-scale and large-budget infrastructure projects to more specific groundbreaking technical innovations.

Last year the judging panel of 17 experts considered 110 entries, with the top award – Major Tunnelling Project of the Year – going to the Eurasia Project in Turkey. Once again, entries can be submitted in nine categories:

  • Outstanding Tunnelling Project of the Year - up to €50m
  • Tunnelling Project of the Year - between €50m and €500m
  • Major Tunnelling Project of the Year - over €500m
  • Renovation/Upgrading project of the Year
  • Technical Innovation of the Year
  • Environmental Initiative of the Year
  • Safety Initiative of the Year
  • Innovative Use of Underground Space
  • Young Tunneller of the Year

For the three Tunnelling Project of the Year Awards the judges will consider project implementation and features that demonstrate design and construction innovations developed for and during the project; verall approach to management of construction (methods and schedule) to successfully complete the excavation(s) within plan; development of cost saving solutions; overall Owner satisfaction with completed work, including safety and quality performance; public/community relations programs to bring public support to the project and mitigation of construction impacts in urban areas; evidence of “value added” and other interesting features. Winning projects will be able to demonstrate successful completion of projects that inspire future underground work.

For full details of all the qualifying criteria for all Awards categories visit the ITA website at Applications can be made up to 30 May, and a selection panel will announce the finalists by mid-July 2016. The ceremony will take place at the end of a two-day conference in Singapore on 10-11 November.


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