Sensitive tunnelling in Slovakia

2005 Mar 15

A new road tunnel aimed at relieving traffic congestion in Slovakia is being built under tricky conditions. Besides extensive rockfall, the excavation is below numerous urban
facilities, including a university, a zoo and a riding school.


Bratislava is an international crossroads for transcontinental traffic. To the west is the D2 (E65) motorway, which is choked with cars and heavy trucks most of the time as traffic pushes south to Hungary in one direction and north to Brno in the Czech Republic in the other. To ease the congestion, a 1.4 km-long twin-tube tunnel is being constructed on the intermediate section of the D2 and will connect the existing sections of Bratislava motorways. Called Sitina, the tunnel is designed to accommodate an estimated 20,000 vehicles per day in each direction. The project is considered extremely tricky as it involves driving under low overburden in heavy, broken rock, which presents the risk of substantial rockfall. Another challenge is the tunnel?s close proximity to the city, as well as some major facilities directly above it. To secure rockface stability, special methods of support are being applied.

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