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Biel East Bypass

Special engineering solution for TBM transfer

The task

In Switzerland in the years 2009 to 2012, one of the last gaps in the Swiss national road network was closed with an EPB Shield from Herrenknecht. “Belena” safely and quickly completed a total of 4 tunnels for the Biel East Bypass on the A5 expressway. This necessitates transporting the EPB Shield twice along an open route of 800 meters between the two tunnel sections. The most difficult obstacle is presented by a busy road bridge offering only a minimum time window for a closure so as to impede vehicle traffic as little as possible. Together with its experienced customer Porr, Herrenknecht develops a special engineering solution for this unusual challenge.

  • Project name: Biel East
  • Application: Road
  • Tunnel length: 7,112 m (4 sections in total)
  • Geology: Molasse, unconsolidated rock
  • Contractor: Porr
  • Machine type: EPB Shield
  • Diameter: 12,560 mm
  • Tunnel lining: Segmental lining

The Herrenknecht service solution

During project planning, Herrenknecht designs and builds a special construction for this logistical challenge of efficiently transporting the TBM. It allows the entire machine including the back-up to be transferred over the whole distance without prior disassembly. After preparation time of 6 weeks each, the two 800-meter transfers can be realized in only 11 and 7 days, respectively. Distances of up to 120 m per shift are covered. The bridge is dismantled for only 24 hours each time and can then be immediately reassembled and driven on. The special construction results in substantial savings for the customer. The total construction period is shortened by the omission of assembly and disassembly as well as the usual transport measures by approximately 9 months. In addition, the costs for disassembly, transport, reassembly and the provision of cranes can be greatly reduced.

Project advantages

  • Thanks to service engineering available at an early stage, known obstacles over the course of the project can be optimally prepared during the planning phase.

  • Compared to the standard method, the special solution saves approx. 9 months during the project.

  • Typical costs associated with disassembly, transport, reassembly and the provision of cranes are reduced considerably.

  • Road traffic is only minimally impacted.

„In Biel we sat down together and worked out the smartest engineering solution. The implementation was done in a very cooperative way and was even topped during the 2nd transfer. Thus, we were able to gain months in time and save on budget – a classic win-win situation.“

Gottfried Horvath, Head of the Machine Technical Department at Porr

Still got questions?

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

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