Rondout West Branch Bypass Tunnel—TBM Boring in Hard Rock Against High Water Pressure and High Water Inflows Beneath the Hudson River in New York
This paper focuses on a single shield hard rock tunnel boring machine that is set to bore in hard rock, high water inflows and high water pressure in New York State. To overcome the difficult conditions the TBM is designed to handle 2500 gpm water inflows and seal against 30 bar of pressure. The TBM will bore a tunnel to replace a damaged portion of the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies half the raw water to New York City. The 2.5 mile bypass tunnel passes beneath the Hudson River with geology consisting of shale and limestone.
Due to the high water pressure and inflows, the TBM was designed with new sealing systems for the main bearing and to close the TBM off if high water inflows are encountered. The TBM is to be equipped with two dewatering systems and multiple drilling and grouting systems for pre excavation grouting and segmental lining backfill. Systematic drilling and grouting procedures specific to the project were developed and incorporated into the TBM and backup design to ensure that the TBM can handle the extremely difficult ground conditions of the project.
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