New York — WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff received an award for “Engineer of the Year” by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) during the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2015 in Hagerbach, Switzerland on Nov. 19. One of the firm’s current tunneling projects, the Eurasia Tunnel Project in Istanbul, Turkey, was named “Major Project of the Year” by ITA.

“We are thrilled by this recognition of our design for the Eurasia Tunnel Project as well the ITA’s acknowledgment of our firm’s outstanding tunneling portfolio over 130 years,” said Gregory Kelly, president and CEO of the U.S., Central and South America region of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. “Beginning with the design of the original New York City subway system in the 1890s, our technical excellence continues today with design services for projects such as the Central Subway in San Francisco, the Second Midtown Tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia, the Airport Link in Brisbane, Australia, the Port of Miami Tunnel, the Waterview Connection in Auckland, New Zealand, and the East Side Access project in New York City.”

For the Eurasia Tunnel Project, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff was the lead designer for a 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait as part of a 14.6-kilometer (9-mile) roadway linking Goztepe in Asia and Kazlicesme in Europe. The underwater section, which reaches depths of 100 meters (330 feet), includes two decks with two lanes each, and is only the second tunnel to link Asia and Europe. A tunnel boring machine finished digging the tunnel in August 2015. The entire $1.3 billion project is expected to be completed in late 2016. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is designer of record for the joint venture of Yapi Merkezi of Turkey and SK E&C of South Korea, which is constructing the tunnel under a build-operate-transfer agreement with the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications.

“Our engineers faced many technical challenges, including difficult ground conditions, water pressure of 11 bars, and very high seismic loads,” said George Munfakh, Director of the Geotechnical & Tunneling Excellence Center of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff also played a prominent role in the planning and design of the $4 billion Marmaray Project, which included the first tunnel to cross the Bosphorus Strait and link two continents. That 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) immersed tube tunnel, which carries commuter trains under Bosphorus, was completed in October 2013. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s services included feasibility studies, development of the alignment, preliminary design, and service as engineering consultant to Avarasyaconsult, the project’s managing consultant. 

“It’s gratifying to have contributed to these two Bosphorus tunnels, which will significantly improve road and rail travel in Istanbul,” said Kelly.

Other prominent projects in WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s tunneling history include the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel (1930); the Scheldt Tunnel, Antwerp, Belgium (1933); the first and second Hampton Roads bridge-tunnels, Virginia (1957 and 1976); the BART Trans-Bay Tube, San Francisco (1974); the Fort McHenry Tunnel, Baltimore (1985); the Mount MacDonald Tunnel, British Columbia, Canada; the Glenwood Canyon tunnels, Colorado (1992); the Singapore Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (2008); and the Big Pipes CSO control tunnels, Portland, Ore. (2011).