Tunnels in the Delta

Worldwide, the most densely populated urban areas are located in deltas.  The capacity of the current infrastructure in these cities is at its limits. To ensure the accessibility, new roads and other transportation systems are needed. However, above the ground, there is almost no space and therefore, building underground is the preferred solution. But in deltaic regions, the soil is soft and the groundwater is high, which makes subsurface construction challenging. Moreover, many busy waterways need to crossed.

Building infrastructure underground can be done with different construction methods, such as sequential excavation, bored tunnelling or cut-and-cover. Rivers and canals can be crossed by immersed tunnels and by bored tunnels.

Our group is involved in studies on construction and renovation of immersed and bored tunnels and also in futuristic projects such as hyperloop and submerged floating tunnels.

Example Bored Tunnel: Second Heinenoordtunnel (source: Beeldbank Rijkswaterstaat)
Example Immersed Tunnel: Second Coentunnel in Construction Dock in Barendrecht (source: Wikipedia)
Sketch Submerged Floating Tunnel (source: NPRA)