Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Tris Thomas and I will be taking over as Editor of T&T International from the beginning of this month. Some of you will already know me from my role over the last couple of years as News and Associate Editor on the magazine. ‘T&T International’ has enjoyed a great relationship with the industry for over 30 years now, something that myself and the new team look forward to continuing and even developing further.

This month we take a look at the state of the industry in the US. The current climate seems optimistic with huge infrastructure projects underway and many more in planning across the continent. New York alone is in the enviable position of having some $40bn being spent on or earmarked for underground construction. The $30bn estimated for the delivery of the Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan could clear a small country’s dept, a fact that demonstrates the commitment of the US to its transportation network. With a budget of just over $4bn, you may think the city’s East Side Access project seems a poor relative. You couldn’t be more wrong, read Nasri Munfa of Parson Brinkerhoff’s description of the project on p19 to get a feel for the scale of this massively impressive scheme.

In the news we see more awards on Switzerland’s 57km long Gotthard rail tunnel, one of the many European high speed freight rail projects that promise a veritable gold mine for the tunneller. With Hong Kong preparing to launch into the next and hopefully more successful deep tunnel sewer system, Australia planning more underground projects than ever, London breaking into CTRL and now the approved Heathrow Terminal 5 and Singapore just being Singapore, is it finally time for industry optimism not to be misplaced? We’ve all heard the rose-tinted talk of a ‘just round the corner’ upturn for the tunnelling industry, often dismissed in sobriety. But could the time finally be drawing near where there is enough work for all? Lets hope so.