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On the Move: Robbins TBMs Around the World

At any given time Robbins TBMs are operating in dozens of countries around the world at all project stages. Thus far, 2020 has been no exception to the rule: From an icy visit to the world’s northernmost TBM to breakthroughs across the U.S. to a vast hydropower project on the verge of completion in China, we’ve got the latest updates from Robbins tunnels around the globe.

TBM Tunneling Above the Arctic Circle

Robbins engineers paid a visit to what is likely the northernmost TBM ever to operate in the world, at the Salvasskardelva HEPP near Bardufoss, Norway, 68.7 degrees north latitude. Robbins personnel and the contractor, Norsk Grønnkraft , have been braving frigid winter temperatures, ice and snow to excavate the 2.8 km long tunnel with a Main Beam machine at an upward gradient of 5.8 percent. As of early March 2020 they are nearly two thirds complete. Once breakthrough occurs the machine will be moved to bore a second tunnel 1.3 km long.

Ice and snow at the Salvasskardelva HEPP

Sindre Log of Robbins Norway visits the wintry jobsite at Salvasskardelva HEPP, possibly the northernmost TBM operation ever.

A Trio of U.S. Tunneling Breakthroughs

Meanwhile in the U.S. multiple machines ranging from 2.2 to 6.5 m in diameter broke through.  First up is the Deer Creek Interceptor using a 6.5 m Main Beam TBM and continuous conveyor. The machine holed through on January 29, completing a 6.3 km long tunnel below St. Louis, MO for contractor SAK. Watch this great video from the owner, MSD Project Clear, below.

Also in January, the Turkey Creek Interceptor finished up: a project using a 3.0 m diameter Robbins Double Shield TBM to bore three short drives below Kansas City, MO. Contractor Radmacher Brothers bored a total of 220 m with the machine. Check out the video of the final breakthrough, and image of its first breakthrough several months earlier.

Turkey Creek TBM Breakthrough

The Robbins Double Shield TBM at the Turkey Creek Interceptor breaks through in Kansas City, MO, USA.

Lastly, in San Antonio, TX a 2.2 m diameter Robbins Double Shield TBM achieved a breakthrough at the SAWS Central Water Integration Pipeline, Segment 5-1. The tunnel, for owner San Antonio Water System, was excavated by contractor Atkinson.

SAWS TBM Breakthrough

The 2.2 m Robbins Double Shield TBM for the SAWS Central Water Integration Pipeline in Texas.

A Massive Project Nears Completion in China

Two of three long-running Double Shield TBMs have completed their epic drives at China’s Great Hydro Network in Shanxi Province in recent months. The Great Hydro Network sprawls thousands of kilometers and is a feat of engineering. The Robbins machines at Tunnel 2 and Tunnel 4 bored from 15 to 23+ km in length. The machines overcame fault zones, water inflows and karst cavities to forge fast advance rates up to 865 m in one month.

GHN T4 Breakthrough

The Robbins Double Shield TBM at Tunnel 4 of the Great Hydro Network.

Tunnel 2 Breakthrough Celebration

Officials celebrate the breakthrough of the Robbins Double Shield TBM at Tunnel 2 of the Great Hydro Network.

Desiree Willis