ITA Recognizes Underground Construction Projects Worldwide

The ITA Tunnelling Awards recognizes the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Padur, Shenzhen Chegongmaio Integrated Traffic Hub Project and Union Square Market Street Station for ground-breaking innovations and outstanding underground projects worldwide.

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Global pandemic recently put a spotlight on the importance of space, especially in urban areas. How can urban life be planned if people must stand 1 meter away from one another? On the contrary, can global megalopolis provide their entire population with enough electricity and water while people live in a long-term containment due to the global pandemic? In addition to the global demographic growth in the past decades and housing challenges encountered, the emergency of finding new solutions to free space in surface is more prevalent than ever. This emergency is one more reason for international decision makers to pursue urban planning to free space on the surface.

Since 2015, the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association hosts the ITA Tunnelling Awards, which seeks to reward the most ground-breaking innovations and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space utilization. The upcoming edition will be a virtual event held on Dec. 3-4, 2020.

Although mega projects are undertaken all over the world, the category “Innovative and Contributing Underground Space” highlights the importance of underground space as a dedicated area which needs to be invested as a link between above and subterranean space. This will allow companies to build resilient and sustainable urban areas.

The following projects are recognized by ITA:

Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Padur, India

Energy security is one of the most challenging issues encountered by Indian public authorities. The Indian government entrusted the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) to build an underground storage for crude oil. This project is innovative as it highlights the importance of co-existence between the above ground and underground spaces.

The facilities provide the safest and most secure means of storing crude oil for longer periods of time because the product is stored at a depth of 80 meters below earth's surface. The above ground portion of the facility requires less space and land available can be utilized for creating other renewable energy projects, such as solar power plants. In addition, the facility can exist without disturbing the natural green environment. The total length of tunnelling for creating the underground caverns was approximately 30 kilometers with an excavation of about 22 million tons of hard rock.

Shenzhen Chegongmiao Integrated Traffic Hub Project, China

Shenzhen Chegongmiao Integrated Traffic Hub project is a huge multi-functional job. It consists of building the new metro interchange station, improving Xiangmihu's roads, work on municipal auxiliary, underground space development and the above-ground space for land saving functions. In addition, its scope includes underground metro stations, business development, underpasses, ground roads, bridge renovation and other categories.

The project facilitated traffic functions of Xiangmihu and Shennan Avenues, improved the surrounding pedestrian system and traffic connection facilities, implemented the separation of people and vehicles, and comprehensively enhanced the traffic and distribution capacity in the region. This was done through the renovation of the Chegongmiao and Xiangmihu Interchange while carrying out metro construction.

Union Square Market Street Station - Battered Drilled Shafts as Permanent Ground Support, USA

The Union Square Market Street Station (UMS) is an underground station that is being constructed as a part of the Central Subway Project in San Francisco.

The entire project is a 1.7 milelong subway extension with three underground stations and one surface station. The project will improve public transportation by extending the Muni Metro-T Third Line through the Market District, Union Square and Chinatown.

The south entrance will be integrated with the existing Bart and Muni Powell Street Station while providing a direct connection  between the two transit lines.

To the North, the main entrance will be at the south-east corner of Union Square on Geary Street. A portion of the famous Union Square Garage and Plaza will be repurposed to house the main points of egress, as well as two emergency ventilation shafts. The station is approximately 950 feet long. Its overall configuration is divided into three areas: the North Concourse, the Platform and the South Concourse. The North Concourse is about 200 feet long and 55 feet below the roadway. The Platform is approximately 400 feet long and ranges in depth from 90 feet to 100 feet. The South Concourse is about 250 feet along Stockton Street and another 100 feet as it wraps along Ellis Street. The depth ranges from approximately 20 to 30 feet as it ascends north.