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Thu May 19 2022

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Work on €1bn Austrian tunnel moves into new phase

2 Apr 19 The contractor for Austria’s largest-ever tunnelling scheme has started exploratory drilling for a 5.6km section of the project.

BBT board member Konrad Bergmeister with Porr project manager Claus Melzer (photo by BBT SE)
BBT board member Konrad Bergmeister with Porr project manager Claus Melzer (photo by BBT SE)

The consortium of Porr, G Hinteregger & Söhne, Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua and Itinera has begun tunnelling work at the south exploratory tunnel as part of the €966m (£830m) Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner of the Brenner Base Tunnel rail scheme. The consortium was awarded the contract for Lot H51 in March 2018 by client BBT SE.

Excavation of the approximately 5.6km exploratory tunnel will be carried out using the drill & blast method and secured with shotcrete. The route will run centrally at a depth of 12m below the two main tunnel tubes. About 1.2km of exploratory tunnel has already been driven on the preceding lot "Wolf 2".

Work on Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner began in late autumn 2018. The construction phase involves building two main tunnel tubes between Pfons and Brenner, around 9km of exploratory tunnel and an emergency stop and transfer point. The two main, single-track tunnel tubes will primarily be driven with tunnel boring machines, allowing a stretch of up to 30m to be driven per day and per TBM.

“The Brenner Base Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure projects for Austria and the European Union,” said Porr CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss. “The construction process is very tight and highly organised in order to successfully meet the contractual construction period of 74 months for the shell construction.”

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