Lifetime Achievement Award
Enrique Fernández González [1958-2019]

Enrique Fernández was a Spanish tunnel engineer who worked for 32 years in tunnel projects all over the world. He worked on sites with Dragados for 12 years using drill and blast, sequential excavation method with excavators and Roadheaders, and TBMs. He also spent 20 years as head of tunnelling within Dragados Technical Directorate, leading bids and supporting projects internationally, and also contributing to the tunnel industry sharing his knowledge in technical papers and conferences, and as professor in some institutions.

He actively helped to succeed on tunnel bids, but also to build projects like Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement, which set a world record for its 17.5m EPBM; the East Side Access in New York; Crossrail’s C305 tunnels and Bank Station Capacity Upgrade in London; and the North West Rail Link and WestConnex Stage 2 projects in Sydney, among many others.

He was convinced that tunnels, in most cases, provide great value to the community, with lower impacts during construction and operational life, and higher added value. His technical capabilities and passion for tunnels contributed to development of the “underground solution” in many projects, including challenging projects in Canada like the Eglinton Crosstown Tunnels and Stations in Toronto, the CSST project in Ottawa, Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit (LRT), and the REM project in Montreal.

He was taken from us far too early doing what he also loved – cycling. He was in a race in Spain just two days after returning from project work in Canada when he was fatally injured on March 24, 2019.

Canadian Project of the Year Award – 2019
South Surrey Interceptor, Johnston Road Section

The project as per the proposal, involved the construction of 770m of 3,000mm diameter lined microtunnel pipe, and five caissons for the installation of a sewer pipeline. The caissons range in diameter from 8.0m ID to 10.6m ID for the purpose of launching and receiving the MTBM and handjacking operations. The microtunnelling pipe was specifically designed and manufactured locally by Langley Concrete Group for use with the Herrenknecht AVN 2500 with an upskin to 3600mmOD. The project involves extensive tie-ins to existing 3m ID pipeline installed by open cut.

A significant contribution made by the team members is the vision, technical ability, and knowledge to propose the application of the microtunnelling construction method to sections of the alignment that were originally proposed as open cut. This is in addition to the high level of effort and technical ability required to install the original scope of works through changing soil conditions and within 5m of existing buildings.

The proposal involved installing the 3.6m OD curved pipeline through a business park, under the four-lane 152nd Street, between five different buildings, with cover to the pipeline as little as 2m, and also a little as 60mm of clearance between the crown of the installation pipeline and the underside of existing utilities.

Canadian Innovation Initiative Award – 2019
Construction sequence and tension tie support system

Nomination Lyon and Parliament Stations for Ottawa’s Confederation Line have been built as underground caverns with a horseshoe section and excavated in rock with a minimal cover to the soil layer. In order to minimize the impact to the existing buildings, an innovative construction sequence and a tension tie system has been designed and built. The challenge was to excavate the mined stations 18m wide in between building basements on Queen Street, 20m apart. The advanced construction sequence by SEM had the aim to transfer the ground loads of the arch to the invert through the cavern support in order to avoid transfer of the loads to the basements. The sequence was designed with phases from bottom-top (opposite to the usual sequence, top-bottom, arch and bench):

  1. Two lower side drifts excavation and support;
  2. Permanent L-shaped sidewalls;
  3. Side walls protection and galleries back filling with foam concrete;
  4. Upper side drifts excavation and support;
  5. Top heading excavation and support;
  6. Tension ties installation to transfer vertical loads to side walls;
  7. Bench excavation;
  8. Reinforced steel concrete slab embedding tension ties.

This construction method allows the excavation of the cavern station by transferring the loads from the central pillar at the beginning to the sidewalls vertically be retaining the horizontal loads with the tension ties. Finally the concrete slab at the mezzanine level will be the one which absorbs the horizontal loads permanently.

Dragados-Canada has collaborated with Dr. Sauer and Partners on designing and construction a station cavern using an innovative construction sequence which avoids affecting the basements of the adjacent buildings. This system, which has never been used before, is based on sequencing the excavation in different stages, including the installation of tension ties under the cavern crown. The excavation sequence combined with the tension ties installation avoid any forces from the crown to be transferred horizontally to the adjacent basements, allowing a mined excavation approach without damaging the existing infrastructure.

Dan Eisenstein Memorial Scholarship – 2019
Antoine Gagnon

Antoine Gagnon is a PhD student in the department of Civil and Water Engineering at Université Laval in Quebec City. The focus of his graduate research is in developing tools for the design and testing of fiber-reinforced shotcrete for ground support. Ultimately, this research project will offer design tools for engineers and present high-performance alternatives to the tunnelling industry. This contribution will provide a safer underground environment for workers, safer structures for users and will improve durability and service life of tunnels.

Antoine has become very interested and passionate about the world of tunnelling through various research projects with different companies in the industry in the past years and plan to continue in this direction in the future. He is chair of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 506-B technical committee Shotcreting-Fiber-Reinforced and a member of ACI 506 Shotcreting and ACI 544 Fiber- Reinforced Concrete.

He is secretary of the working group on the Guideline on the Applicability of Fibre-Reinforced Shotcrete as a Ground Support in Mines for the Rock Tech Centre in Sweden. He is also member of the Underground technical committee of the American Shotcrete Association. Photo of the Year – 2019 Michael Orsario, senior SEM engineer, Dr G. Sauer & Partners

Photo of the Year – 2019
Michael Orsario, senior SEM engineer, Dr G. Sauer & Partners

The photo was taken last year in November at Laird Station. I just got my new Fuji XT-20 camera the day before I took the photo. I took my new camera for my daily site visit that Saturday, hoping to find some nice scenery for some good shots. That day I was pretty lucky!