Calendars turn soon after, a reminder of endings.

Between the starts and finishes rests almost everything.

Trials, tribulations, insights and choices, all to make the way to the end, finding out how best to do so.

Decisions that matter for both the construction phase and long-term life of an asset. Decisions that are myriad, options more than plentiful.

Challenges too. More than could be covered or listed in any single issue of any journal or even a festive dozen. In T&T we look at many, with time.

In noting that giving close consideration to underground safety is essential at all times, in this issue T&T discusses the experience of doing so with global expert Dr Donald Lamont. His guidance over decades has helped to improve industry performance.

The issue also holds features that discuss approaches to managing ever present groundwater – keeping it of tunnels during construction and over decades of operation – by looking at: watertightness for sealing immersed tube tunnels; creating waterproof membranes in tunnel profiles; producing a new way of enabling permanent drainage; and, the principles of artificial ground freezing.

We return with both seconds parts of two features – one about the delicate challenge of easing shallow underpasses below operational roads or railways; the other about tunnelling offshore to get a TBM to thread through to narrow marine shaft to build an outfall tunnel.

At this time of reflection and appreciation, it is also a pleasure to begin with a celebratory note of the award of the British Tunnelling Society’s James Clark Medal, for 2022, given to Ken Spiby for his tremendous achievements on projects and his service to the industry over many years.