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New Tunnel Segments Development on C310 Thames Tunnel

Widely and regularly reported is the size and scale of the Crossrail Project but somewhat less known is the adoption of new technology in the project in an effort to improve infrastructure maintenance and development in the future.

As C310 Hochtief/Murphy Thames Tunnel (Plumstead to Woolwich) is the single tunnel drive for Crossrail under the River Thames, this has become the focus of the very latest generation of sensory technology. 

The Behaviour of Tunnel Segments

University of Cambridge, CRL Chief Engineer Group, C122 and HMJV are planning to install a total of four instrumented rings in the Thames Tunnel. The aim of this research is to help tunnel designers to improve their understanding of the actual performance of concrete segmental lining/tunnel segments behaviour during construction and through the design life. With this information, they hope to optimise tunnel design and construction of such tunnel linings in order to provide more efficient and cost-effective solutions for future projects.

These special rings will be instrumented distributed optical fibre strain sensors and conventional monitoring in the form of strain gauges, which will be embedded in the concrete.  Data loggers for vibrating wire strain gauges are accommodated in stainless steel box-outs inserted in each segment.

The teams from Cambridge University and Shay Murtagh Precast have just completed the first phase of this project, with the instrumentation of two Rings at our Factory. The second phase will begin in early January 2014 and all 4 rings will be installed in the following months.

The Cambridge University Team along with Donal McGovern, Deputy Tunnel Manager for Shay Murtagh Precast, visited the site on 18th December ahead of the installation of the rings.  In addition, they also visited TBM 2 into Woolwich Box.