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Bolivia, Tarija Department - bo/14


The Bolivian road administration (ABC) has started on 26th August the construction of the Falda de la Queí±ua bypass road tunnel, during an official ceremony held in El Molino in the Iscayachi municipality. The Falda de la Queí±ua bypass road, which forms part of the Potosi-Tarija road link, will reduce transport time from Potosi to Tarija, avoiding the Sama hill. The 1,220 m tunnel, located at El Condor mountain pass in the Tarija department, will be constructed by the La Queí±ua joint venture, led by construction company Roca, for USD8.4 million. The project will be supervised by the CPS-Belmonte joint venture. The detailed design of the Falda de la Queí±ua bypass road was carried out by the Ecoplan-Noronha joint venture. The tunnel will cross rock of Class III (Bieniawski) with some stretches falling within Class IV and Class V associated with faults. The west mouth is located at a height of 3,402 m above sea level whereas the east mouth lies at a height of 3,339 m asl. There is a 63 m difference in height between the two sides. The tunnel will make the existing road seven kilometres shorter and reduce in approximately 500 metres the altitude of the 100% mountainous road through the Sama hill. The portals will be cut in rock and stabilised with steel anchors, metallic netting and a concrete layer. The tunnel will be concluded in August next year. Click here for more details (in Spanish). 36/08.


Bolivia, La Paz - bo/13


Two-lane, 1.3 km-long, $25 million San Rafael tunnel on Cotapata-Santa Barbara highway under construction from both portals by Andrade Gutierrez with Copesa and Minerva for completion end-2002. 20/01.


Bolivia, Villavicencio - bo/12


  Buenavista tunnel driven 4.5 km at 9 m wide in shale and sandstone using hydraulic breakers and excavators by Italian jv of Recchi and Fincosit. Umbrella drilling using Mustang A66. Large-scale use of Swellex rockbolts with holes drilled by Atlas Copco H352 Boomer. February 1997.


Bolivia, Misicuni - bo/11

Water/Irrigation/Hydro - Hardrock TBM

  Astaldi of Italy and ICE of Bolivia using Robbins TBM in hard, faulted, abrasive sandstone of 40-125 MPA. March 1999. A state of emergency was declared in Bolivia following protests about the expected rise in water charges that will accompany the $200 million Misicuni waterworks contract in Cochabamba. The centrepiece of the project is a very difficult 19 km-long diversion tunnel, which was commenced in 1995. TBM operations in the Calio sector got underway in November, 1998 and less than 500 m has been accomplished to date due to cataclastic rocks associated with a 700 m-wide fault system under 800 m cover. The plasticity of the strata causes a squeezing of 10-12 cm immediately behind the TBM which, if not supported before the crown opens, results in cave-in. Advance in April at Calio was 85 m, the highest achieved to date and in the Bocatoma sector the Robbins TBM has completed 2.5 km. Type in Misicuni at www.alltheweb.com for further details. May 2000. Contract extension granted to Astaldi to complete excavation until 30th April, 2002 of the 19.5 km Misicuni water tunnel in Cochabamba and install the lining by 11th March, 2003. Contractor ICE withdrew from the contract. Early September, 2001, 8.4 km had been bored between the intermediate shaft and the Bocatoma portal, as well as 6.1 km between the intermediate shaft and Ventana Calio with 4 km still to go on the latter section. Bolivia's government accepted in September, 2001 a proposal by US consultant Glenn Genkins to separate the US$62 million construction of the Misicuni tunnel from other assignments. 46/01. Supreme Decree issued by the government of Bolivia on 25th February, 2002 allowing Empresa Misicuni to negotiate a contract with another contractor to finish the last 500 m of the 19.3 km-long Misicuni tunnel. Contract with Astaldi-ICE jv was cancelled after the jv stopped work in January. The project, first proposed nearly 50 years ago, has been underway since 1995 after extensive engineering studies by Electrowatt Engineering in the 1980s. Tunnelling started in 1998 and the Bocatoma section of the tunnel was completed in May, 2000 when the Robbins hard rock TBM reached the intermediate shaft. This shaft, at over 3,800 m elevation, is one of the highest in the world. The Robbins TBM at Calio achieved advances exceeding 840 m/month, 240 m/week, 55 m/day and 30 m/shift. Antony Ivan Smith is presently the Superintendente of the 12 km-long Calio section of the Misicuni tunnel. More from aivansmith@msn.com. 12/02. Empresa Misicuni signed on 19th March a contract with Robbins to complete the last 500 metres for $680,000 saying Robbins has the know-how to finish the tunnel under the same terms as the Astaldi-ICE jv, which pulled out from the project. Robbins equipment was used by the jv. Tunnelling is to resume by the end of March. Time frame of 45 days. Court arbitration will be given in Paris to sort out the dispute between the jv and Empresa Misicuni. Visit www.robbinstbm.com 13/02.The 19.2 km-long Misicuni tunnel was completed on Thursday 4th July, 2002 when the Robbins TBM 1015-271 finally bored into the Pozo section of the tunnel, which had been found flooded at original breakthrough on 15th June, 2002. Water is now flowing through the 5 km-high Cordilleran Andes to the Cochabamba Valley, realizing a 45 year dream. After the removal of the TBM, the Calio section of the tunnel will be concreted. For further information contact Antony Ivan Smith aivansmith@msn.com or visit www.robbinstbm.com 29/02.


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Beakaert Maccaferri: bm-underground.com