Tunnelling under the Suez Canal in Port Said

In future, the road tunnel beneath the Suez Canal to the south of the city of Port Said in northern Egypt will link the Lower Egyptian mainland with the Sinai Peninsula. The tunnel project is part of the Egyptian government’s plan for the economic development of the Suez Canal region presented in 2014. Towards this end, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government is concentrating on international trade and building up the cities of Suez, Ismailia and Port Said. By constructing the road tunnel, the ongoing substantial delays resulting from having to cope with heavy-duty and passenger traffic on ferries are to be alleviated. This article deals with the construction of the two roughly 2.9 km long tunnel tubes with an external diameter of 12,60 m, in the proximity of Port Said under somewhat out of the ordinary circumstances.

Within the scope of the Masterplan dating from 2014, the projects in Ismailia and Port Said, which are located at the Suez Canal, were executed almost simultaneously. As a result, two road tunnels, each with two lanes plus a hard shoulder, were driven in Ismailia as two other, almost identical tunnels were being constructed in Port Said. Originally the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were intended to drive a further tunnel alongside the two newly created ones. In the meantime, this scheme has been shelved.

All four drives (Ismailia and Port Said) were excavated by means of the hydro-shield method...

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