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Gigantic TBM for Italy

The Herrenknecht S-574 Earth Pressure Balance Shield for extending the highway between Bologna and Florence was successfully accepted together with the Italian customer at the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau yesterday. With an excavation diameter of 15.62 meters, this giant is the largest tunnel boring machine ever built in the world. The next few weeks will see it being partially dismantled for transport to the site in Italy. 

Schwanau, December 10, 2010. A busy section of the A1 highway in Italy between Bologna and Florence is currently being extended. This development also involves the 2.5km twin-bore Sparvo Tunnel which is part of a project awarded by the Italian client »Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A.« to a joint-venture comprising »Vianini Lavori S.p.A.«, »Toto Costruzioni Generali S.p.A.« and »Profacta S.p.A.«. The Herrenknecht S-574 Earth Pressure Balance Shield will be used for mechanized tunnelling of this new large-diameter tunnel.

With an excavation diameter of 15.62 meters and an overall length of 130 meters, this record-breaking machine was assembled at the Herrenknecht headquarters in Schwanau (southern Germany) over a period of three months, where it has also been commissioned and tested extensively. To celebrate acceptance, the customer »Toto Costruzioni Generali S.p.A.« invited top-ranking representatives of all the companies involved in the project to Schwanau yesterday where the machine was presented and its functions explained.

As the time schedule for construction of the Sparvo Tunnel is tight, the dismantling phase will commence shortly following successful acceptance by the customer. In January 2011, the first individual components will be shipped to Italy enabling final assembly to commence on site in February. The giant TBM is to start tunnelling the first tube near Florence in a northerly direction in May 2011 with plans for the new route to open by the end of 2013.

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Jack Brockway President and CEO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser COO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.