Since 2015, the international competition “ITA Tunneling and Underground Space Awards” aims to reward the most ground-breaking innovations and outstanding projects in underground construction. Due to the recent global pandemic which impacted international travels, this edition will be held online through a dedicated platform, from the 29th of November to the 2nd of December, where the winner will be elected.

Through 8 categories, this competition aims to identify the most important ongoing underground works and technologies that help cities change and enable habits and ways of life to evolve in order to build smart and sustainable urban areas.

One of the categories of the competition is focused on rewarding the Major Project of the Year (over €500M). Amongst all of the projects submitted for this category, the panel of judges identified 3 finalists that seem to pursue one common goal: managing urban expansion and regulate urban traffic.

Global growth impacts large-scale urban regions, in particular their attractiveness. However, land expansion occurs at the edge of existing urban areas, and cities have to adapt and change by investing in transports infrastructures in order to mitigate their urban expansion. Whether they entail high-speed railways or urban tunnels, transports infrastructures projects are at the core of mega suburbs, and the 3 finalists give further evidence of current major projects undertaken around the world.

NOVELTIES FOR 2021:

Over the past years, underground space has been identified as a crucial lever to build resilient urban environments and tackle impacts of climate change. Sustainability and Ethics have become the driving forces behind all underground projects, and through this new edition, ITA Tunneling and Underground Space Awards has at heart to demonstrate the evolution of the industry to meet these new challenges, and especially with the new category « Beyond Engineering: Making underground works projects even better ».

MAJOR PROJECT OF THE YEAR (OVER 500 M€) CATEGORY AND ITS FINALISTS

  • Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Putrajaya Line Tunnels and Underground Station Works in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a sprawling metropolis sorely in need of a sustainable solution to its traffic congestion woes. Everyday thousands of commuters find themselves stuck in traffic, incurring losses in time and GDP. The KVMRT network fills that gap with an extensive, integrated MRT system to access the city center conveniently.

The Putrajaya Line or Line2 is a Malaysian mega-infrastructure rail project located in the heart of its capital, Kuala Lumpur. It is part of a 3-line network known as the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) that will raise the existing public transport modal share of the capital city from 20% to 50% as part of the national Economic Transformation Program.

It will consists mostly of elevated rail outside of the city center. As the city center is highly built-up with highrise buildings, busy roadways, and overhead infrastructures, the only viable solution to connect the alignment is to go underground.

Tunneling depth varied between 20 meters to 60 meters, largely due to the presence of other intersecting underground infrastructures like the SMART tunnel motorway and metros.

Engineering firm(s): AECOM Perunding Sdn Bhd

Cost: EUR 2,7 billion

  • Ismailia Tunnels under Suez Canal in Egypt

The Ismailia Road Tunnel project is part of the investments made in the context of the Suez Canal Corridor Development Project. In addition to the construction of the new Suez Canal, a rail and road tunnel will be constructed at three locations (Port Said, Ismailia and Suez). The Ismailia Road Tunnel is located nearby the town of Ismailia, halfway between Port Said and Suez alongside the Suez Canal.

The project is a twin tube road tunnel that crosses the existing and new Suez Canal north of the city of Ismailia. It is part of a development project in the Suez Canal zone.

The completion of the development project including the tunnel has the highest priority in Egypt, as it is expected to boost the economic growth.

Engineering firm(s):

–          Owner Consultants: CDM Smith (Germany) and ACE Consulting Engineers (Moharram – Bakhoum) (Cairo, Egypt)

–          Designer (Contractor Consultant): ARCADIS Netherlands/France

Cost: EUR 600 million

  • Shantou Bay Tunnel Project in China

Shantou Bay Tunnel project is one of the four sea-crossing passages designated in the Master Plan of Shantou City, one of the longitudinal lines planned in Shantou Arterial Highway Network, and the double line of National Highway G324 in Shantou. The project is located between the built Bay Bridge and Queshi Bridge, which is an important traffic project connecting the north and south banks of the central urban area of Shantou. It will give full play to Shantou’s function as a “regional central city” in eastern Guangdong in forming an efficient comprehensive three-dimensional traffic network.

Due to the complex engineering geological structures and high construction challenges, Shantou Bay Tunnel Project is regarded as the first subsea tunnel in China that adopts superlarge-diameter shield to cross complex strata. With the participation of many domestic authoritative experts in the planning and design, it will be built into a century project with demonstration significance in China.

Engineering firm(s): China Railway Tunnel Group Co., Ltd.

Cost: EUR 541 million

THE FINALISTS’ PANEL:

  • MAJOR PROJECT OF THE YEAR (OVER 500 M€)

– Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Putrajaya Line Tunnels and Underground Station Works in Malaysia;

– Ismailia Tunnels under Suez Canal in Egypt;

– Shantou Bay Tunnel Project in China

  • PROJECT OF THE YEAR (BETWEEN 50 AND 500 M€)

– Large-diameter shield tunnel engineering project in karst strata of sea area in China;

– Ping’an Tunnel on Chengdu Lanzhou Railway in China;

– South extension of the metro Line 14 in Paris – GC02 contract in France

  • PROJET OF THE YEAR INCL. RENOVATION ( -50 M€)

– Long Term Recycled Water Release Plan Stage 1 – Gold Coast Seaway in Australia;

– Relocation of Shatin Sewage Treatment Works into Caverns Hong Kong in China;

– Tangjiawan Dananshan Emergency Shelter Project in China

  • TECHNICAL INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

– A cloud based intelligent system for fully automated realtime design of tunnel supporting system in China;

– MISSIONOS for the Shaft & Tunnel Excavation Monitoring System for the DTSS2 Project in Singapore;

– O’Dive PRO services: decompression procedures monitoring in France;

– Riachuelo Lote 3 – Innovative method for the construction of sea outfall projects – The Risers Concept in Argentina;

– Virtual Master Rings, Replacing a tradition in Germany

  • BEYOND ENGINEERING – MAKING UNDERGROUNG WORKS PROJETCS EVEN BETTER

– Is shield tunneling spoil a waste? A novel solution says no. in China;

– Xueshan No.1 Tunnel Project of Huashixia- Dawu Highway in China

  • INNOVATIVE AND CONTRIBUTING UNDERGROUND SPACES

– Fuxin Parking Lot of Shenzhen Rail Transit Line 14 in China;

– Lefdal Mine Data Center The Norwegian Solution where scale and flexibility meet resiliency in Norway

  • YOUNG TUNNELLER OF THE YEAR

– Chiranjib Sarkar in India;

– Gianluca Comin in Italy;

– Keith Bannerman in Australia;

– Michael Mains in Canada;

– Nick Hatzibousios in Australia;

– Zhuanzhuan Zhang in China.

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