Seven consortia have been invited to tender for the 2.5km tunnelling section of the Belgium high speed link under Antwerp.

The seven are: MBG/Jan de Nul/Van Laere/CEI/Smet; Bouyges/Antwerp Construction Combination; Temporary Combination Antwerp consisting of Ballast Nedam Beton en Waterbouw/Strukton Betonbouw and Strukton de Mayer/Van Hattum en Blankevoort/Nishimatsu Construction Corporation; de Weale/Spie Batignolles/Besix; Franki/Hochtief; Philipp Holzmann/Cordeel; and Denys/Campenion Bernard S.G.E.

The client, Belgium Railways and consultant, TUC Rail, assisted by Centrale Studiedienst van de Lijn, envisages a twin single track tunnel system, each 1.2km long with an i.d. of 7.3m. constructed by TBM. The use of EPB or slurry is yet to be decided. Lining will comprise seven segments and a key with a thickness of 0.35m. There will also be a 350m long double track tunnel section constructed by cut and cover.

The tunnels will run under Antwerp, north from the Central Station to the Damplein where the line will become grade level. Boring will be through tertiary sand containing glauconite clay and above stiff tertiary boom clay. Compensation grouting and ground support will be employed under sensitive structures.

The bidding procedure and negotiation of contract is expected to run until January 2001 with contract award in February 2001. Construction is slated for an April 2001 start with completion expected by July 2004. The project is funded by the Belgium Federal State and the European Union.

Related Files
Twin tube tunnels under Antwerp