I don’t know about you, but I find tunnel boring actually to be pretty exciting! I mean, you have to dig through massive amounts of rock in one of the best examples of human engineering and construction! What could be more exciting than humanity’s conquering of previous physical barriers?
Just a few weeks ago, Swiss engineers completed the eastern bore of the new rail St. Gotthard tunnel between Erstfeld and Amsteg. This is the second-to-last of five legs needed for the 153-kilometer long railway tunnel — due to open in 2017.
This leg covers a distance of 7.2 kilometers and was finished in only 18 months — a full six months ahead of schedule.
Clearly Swiss precision was in effect, as AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, the company in charge of the project, stated on its website: “Breakthrough of the tunnel was achieved with great accuracy, the deviation of 4 mm horizontally and 8 mm vertically was minimal. ”
The completion of the final section is schedule for completion by the end of 2011.