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Switzerland, Ceneri - ch/14

High Speed Railway

Will drive 3.1 km over next three years to explore geological conditions for the 15 km Mt Ceneri base tunnel. Has advanced more than 2 km at 6 m/day. April 1999.   Mt Ceneri is on southern access to Gotthard base tunnel. Sigrino exploration drive underway on a 30 sq m single face to one side of the main tunnel alignment and should be completed end-2000. Contractor LGU using Tamrock drillrig for drill/blast with rockbolt support and steel arches in places. Main drive should start in 2005. Visit www.alptransit.ch April 2000.  Public hearings into the 2 x 15.4 km Ceneri base tunnel will be held from 2nd April to 16th May, 2003. The main worksite will start in Sigirino where a launch cavern for each tube is planned to start tunnelling. The full lengths of both tubes will be driven with two TBMs except a section in the Valcolla area to be blasted. The alignment on the north side bifurcates from the Bellinzona-Locarno line shortly after the Giubiasco station to enter in tunnel in Vigana between Camorino and San Antonino. On the south side, connection to the existing line will be in Vezia. Around 4 millions cubic metres of spoil will be removed and recycled. The CHF2.2 billion tunnel is part of the second phase of AlpTransit. Work to commence in 2006 for opening in 2016. Visit www.alptransit.ch 14/03.CHF1.3 billion has been allocated to the 15.4 km Ceneri base tunnel, which will be constructed as two single-track tubes, fully equipped. A scheduled building in phases has been discarted because, although this would have saved CHF155 million in the short term, extra costs of CHF334 million would have been necessary later to equip the second tube. Also, a building in phases would have reduced the capacity of the tunnel by 60%. The federal department for environment, transport, energy and communication (DETEC) is expected to approve the designs in mid August. Preliminary works could start next fall and the main works in 2006-2007. The Ceneri tunnel is part of the Gotthard AlpTransit line, since its approval at a referendum vote in 1992 confirmed in 1998. The cost is estimated at CHF2 billion (1998 price). Visit www.bav.admin.ch and www.alptransit.ch/pages/img/aktuell/Info_Ceneri_f.pdf 26/05.On 30th April, 2007, AlpTransit San Gottardo and CMC (Consorzio Monte Ceneri), a consortium whose partners are Swiss contractors CSC, Frutiger, and Rothpletz, Lienhard + Cie, signed a contract for the first underground works at the Ceneri base tunnel. The contract is worth CHF85 million (VAT not included) and encompasses tunnelling of the Sigirino access adit and an operating cavern. The contract has been signed slightly less than one year after the first stone of the Ceneri tunnel was laid on 2nd June, 2006 and further to 12 months of preparatory work for the Ceneri base tunnel, at Camorino and Sigirino construction sites. Tunnelling will commence next autumn and will last a bit more than two years. The 15.4 km-long Ceneri base tunnel connects Camorino with Vezia and is one of the key links of the plain line. It is scheduled to open in 2019. Read E-News Weekly 18/2003. Visit www.alptransit.ch, www.csc-sa.ch, www.frutiger.ch and www.rothpletz.ch 19/07.The contract for the construction of the Ceneri base tunnel from the northern portal, in Camerino, has been awarded to the Matro sud consortium headed by Pizzarotti teaming up with Ennio Ferrari, LGV, Cossi Costruzioni and Rodio Geotechnik. The consortium presented an offer of CHF103 million for the main northern lot consisting of a tunnel that will emerge on the Vigana hill under highway A2 where a double portal for three tracks will be constructed (two tracks for the new Alptransit railroad and one for the Locarno-Lugano line). Construction is programmed to commence on 6th October, 2008. Visit www.pizzarotti.it, www.ennio-ferrari.ch, www.lgv-sa.ch, www.cossi.com and www.rodio.chThe project will take place in three phases. First, an approach trench will be built in the slope that, from the valley, will lead to the tunnel site. Then, once the portal area is ready, some 50 metres will be excavated in soft ground just under the A2. From that point, crews will cut the rock through Mount Ceneri on an overall length of about 700 metres consisting of two tubes and a cavern system. The three large caverns, with width up to 23 m and height of 14 m, will be excavated by traditional methods. They will accommodate tracks for the south-north line, the north-south line and the Vigana connection that will be the interchange between north-south high speed lines and the local traffic. Click here for more details. Excavation will take place in soft soil using jet grouting and in rock using explosives. The supports will mainly consist of anchoring bolts, shotcrete, welded mash and steel arches. The final lining will be an inner concrete ring. Visit www.alptransit.ch 29/08.