Swiss Tunnel Congress 2017 with Colloquium and Excursions

From May 30 to June 1, 2017, the Swiss Tunnelling Society (STS) is staging the 16th Swiss Tunnel Congress. As in previous years the first two days will take place in the Concert Hall at the Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre (KKL). The annual Tunnel Colloquium will be held there on Day 1. Day 2 is the main Congress-day which will be devoted to papers on national Swiss tunnelling and underground construction projects as well as international construction projects – many of which involve Swiss participation. The final day is reserved for an extensive excursion programme, which offers participants the choice of visiting no less than five different construction sites.



The Swiss Tunnel Colloquium on May 30th deals with the topic of “Maintenance and Renewal of Traffic Tunnels”. In this connection, the major aspects examine the “Standard Tunnel Construction Method” of the Rhaetian Railway (RhB). This specially devised standardised rehabilitation method is applied on the RhB route network, which embraces 115 tunnels – more than the half of which are in need of repair on account of their age. The Standard Construction Method is designed to assure regulated construction cycles and lower costs than in the case of previous methods and enable redevelopment to be carried out while services continue to run.

Further papers will include the challenges faced by a construction site with ongoing traffic taking the example of enlarging the Stalvedro Road Tunnel, as well as materials and applications, which are suitable for speedy progress and lean construction methods – as e.g. ready-made elements consisting of polymer concrete or a permanent inner lining made of shotcrete and sprayable watertight membrane.

The final paper is devoted to an ASTRA Research Initial Project to regulate procedures for maintaining mined tunnels. Toward this end, the maintenance management process is divided into three part-processes for the entire service life of a tunnel: monitoring, maintenance planning and implementation of the maintenance measures.


Young Members Apéro

After the Colloquium on May 30, the STS Young Members (STSym), established in 2016, will hold a reception in the Lucerne “Nectar Bar” for all interested young tunnellers. The Young Members Apéro is open to all engineers under the age of 35. Participation at the STC is not essential. Please register per mail:



The day of the Congress then follows on May 31. After a welcoming address by STS president Stefan Maurhofer, Gian-Luca Lardi will present the introductory lecture “Our leading Role is not set in Stone – the Swiss Construction Industry and international Competition”.

Subsequent papers will deal with ongoing tunnelling projects in Switzerland such as the third tube of the Gubrist Tunnel, the Eppenberg Tunnel in conjunction with the four-lane Olten–Aarau upgrade, planning the Bözberg Tunnel taking pronouncedly swelling rock into consideration, the sophisticated geology encountered during the building of the new tube of the Belchen Tunnel as well as creating a frozen zone in order to drive the Albula Tunnel II safely.

Nine further papers examining national and international projects will follow. These will include findings gained from the Alaskan Way Tunnel project in Seattle, the complex construction methods applied for the Semmering Base Tunnel, contract section SBT2.1 (Fröschnitzgraben Tunnel) as well as what will be the longest rail tunnel in Norway with more than 20 km within the scope of the Follo Line project. The practical application of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for tunnelling process management will be explained taking the example of the Albvorland Tunnel on the new Stuttgart–Ulm rail route.



The five site inspections relate to the following construction projects:

A9 construction site Riedberg Tunnel (in the Canton of Valais)

Belchen Tunnel (Solothurn/Basle-Land)

Eppenberg Tunnel (Solothurn/Aargau)

Schlossparking Thun (Berne)

Albula Tunnel (Grisons)


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