The TBM’s diameter of 15.87m is 250mm more than the previous European record-holder. It is the largest machine ever made at Herrenknecht’s Schwanau plant. The previous record-holder was the Herrenknecht EPB shield for the Galleria Sparvo, with a diameter of 15.62m.
Over the next three years the new 4,800-tonne giant will build a 7,528-metre road tunnel in the Apennines near Florence.
A comprehensive technical acceptance process was completed on Monday and the 410t cutting wheel made its first turn during an official ceremony. The machine was inspected by Herrenknecht’s customer - construction company Pavimental – as well as by representatives of client Autostrade per l'italia and Herrenknecht.
In the near future, 13 Herrenknecht tunnel borers will be operating on Italy’s tunnelling projects, including eight with a diameter of more than 8m. On the A1 new-build route alone, a total of 44 new road tunnels are planned including the Santa Lucia Tunnel. In future the journey time from Bologna to Florence will be reduced by 30% thanks to the new route, which will be opened to traffic in 2019.