TBM sees the light in Sochi Mar 2011
Desiree Willis, Technical Writer, The Robbins Company
A Robbins double shield TBM crossed the finish line in Sochi, Russia to complete its contribution to some 40km of transportation infrastructure tunnelling for the city's upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Sochi's Complex #3 service tunnel completed

Sochi's Complex #3 service tunnel completed

In early March, the 6.2m diameter machine completed a 4.5km long service facility tunnel through difficult ground at average rates of 100m to 120m/week for contractor OJSC Bamtonnelstroy, a division of the SK Most Company of the USA.
The section of tunnel will ultimately become a service tunnel for Complex #3 that includes road and rail tunnels. A second 10m Robbins double shield is currently excavating the parallel 4.6km long main railway tunnel using a continuous conveyor system for efficient muck removal. A 13.2m (43.3ft) diameter highway tunnel is also under construction for the same Complex.
The 6.2m Robbins service machine achieved high rates of advance despite difficult conditions. The Complex #3 tunnels run through mixed ground including massive to completely fractured limestone with clay seams.
Some sedimentary rock including sandstone and siltstone is present, along with fault zones consisting of breccias and conglomerates. In May 2010, the machine was stopped after encountering a significant fault zone consisting of broken rock and running soft ground. Field service personnel and the crew successfully freed the machine by excavating a bypass tunnel around the TBM to free the cutterhead. Following the restart, a combination of continuous probe drilling and ground treatment with cement silicate and foam kept the machine moving forward.
  • Difficult ground was conquered by the 6.2m TBM

    Difficult ground was conquered by the 6.2m TBM

  • 10m Robbins shield cuts the main railway drive

    10m Robbins shield cuts the main railway drive

While the service tunnel is now complete and lined, work still remains on the main rail tunnel. The 10m diameter shield was modified and repaired by Robbins site personnel prior to the start of excavation. The TBM is currently 726m into its portion of tunnel and heading towards an expected completion date of March 2012.
All together, more than 20 road and rail tunnels for a total 40km are under construction from the Adler to Alpika areas. Project owner DCRC-Sochi, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, hopes to complete all rail and road infrastructure by June 2013 well ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Sochi tunnels towards Winter Olympics - TunnelTalk, March 2009
TBMs heading for Olympic gold - TunnelTalk, May 2009

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