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Tunnelling of Maurice Lemaire Safety Tunnel Ends

Tunnelling of Maurice Lemaire Safety Tunnel EndsMore than fifteen months have been necessary for a Herrenknecht gripper TBM, christened 'Cynthia' in December 2004, to complete a 6,226 m-long safety tunnel along the Maurice Lemaire tunnel through the massif of Vosges in northeast France. On 7th July, 2006 the TBM emerged outdoor in Lusse (Vosges), in the presence of Jean-François Roverato, CEO of Eiffage construction group and president of Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhone (APRR), the tunnel operator. The completion of tunnelling is a major milestone for making safe the Maurice Lemaire tunnel.APRR, assisted by Bonnard & Gardel and Scetauroute (lead engineers) and Bouygues and Eiffage (contractors), will continue to work at the various ongoing and future construction sites, both in the old tunnel and the newly driven safety tunnel, to put in service the complete refurbished Maurice Lemaire tunnel within schedule. Visit www.bg-21.com, www.scetauroute.com, www.bouygues-construction.com and www.eiffagetp.fr Herrenknecht's TBM at its exit to the open air at the Maurice Lemaire tunnel between Alsace and Lorraine, France MS supplied a complete works site water treatment plant on the base of a maximal flow of 150 cu m/h. This plant ensured the separation of sands and gravels through an hydro-cycloning process, the removal of suspended solids through a physico-chemical process, the treatment of mud by pressing and the deoiling of clarified water. Visit www.m-s.frWork is proceeding at the 16 sealed cross passages between the old tunnel and the new safety bore. Digging is almost finished while concreting is more than 50% completed. Concreting of the smoke removal ducts is 90% finished. Drainage is well advanced, with 55% of the culverts already installed. Road work is nearly concluded on the first 1,500 metres on the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines side. Civil engineering works, including concreting of the new safety tunnel, will take another year to complete until mid-2007.In spring 2007, safety and operation equipment will be installed (ventilation, radiocommunication, high and low voltage supply, anti-fire devices, metal works, signs). The selection of the companies is under way.The 6 m-diameter 237 m-long 950-tonne TBM commenced on 14th February, 2005 after being introduced into the first 335 metres of tunnel built by drilling and blasting. The cutting wheel dug through gneiss and granite, progressing as planned some 25 to 30 metres a day, but it also met very altered and fractured zones that slowed down progress to one or two metres a day. After the last record month of May (784 metres), the TBM holed through into the drive excavated from the Vosges, at some 400 metres from the exit. The rock was taken away by a 6,755 m Marti Technik conveyor belt. View pictures here. Visit www.herrenknecht.com and www.martitechnik.chThe safety bore will be connected to the old tunnel by sealed cross passages every 400 metres. The new tunnel is required for emergency-escape purposes in case of fire to provide an escape route to users, ventilate the old tunnel, remove fumes and toxic gases and secure power and water supplies. The Maurice Lemaire tunnel is situated on national road RN 59 and connects Saint-Marie-aux-Mines in Upper Rhine department with Lusse in Vosges department. It is the longest road tunnel entirely situated on the French territory (6,950 m) and a major link between Alsace and Lorraine. The tunnel was first a rail tunnel opened to traffic on 8th August, 1937 and later converted into a road tunnel which opened in 1976. Further to the Mont Blanc tunnel fire in 1999, it has been closed to heavy vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes in March 2000.The EUR180 million complete refurbishment commenced in July 2004 in the existing tunnel with the removal of 1,374 concrete ventilation caissons from the ceiling prior to recycling, roof securing, construction of a culvert and installation of new operation and safety equipment.Entry in service of the entire refurbished tunnel is programmed for the beginning of the summer 2008. Read E-News Weekly 44/2004, 19/2004 & 1/2002. Click here and fr/42. Visit www.parisrhinrhone.com 30/06.  


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Beakaert Maccaferri: bm-underground.com