Tunnel Strengthening against the Effects of Excavating

The objective of the AKE Abwasserkanal Emscher infrastructure project is to transfer sewage by underground means in the future in appropriately dimensioned conduits through the German Ruhr District to the clarification plants, and to revitalize the river Emscher. The pipeline networks in the neighbouring towns and cities have to be adapted to link up with the roughly 50 km long main interceptor. In Gelsenkirchen, tunnels belonging to the urban transit system are also affected by the sewage construction. The tunnels were planned and built during the 1970s, taking expected influences resulting from mining into consideration. These influences led to special designs for the tunnels, which represent particular general conditions for their strengthening.


The transformation of the Ruhr District from a coal and steel location to a modern region for science, industry and services is accompanied by the new development of old industrial centres and the recultivation of large areas of the changing region. In this way, its attractiveness and competitiveness vis-à-vis other regions is to be enhanced so that structural change can successfully forge ahead.

The AKE Abwasserkanal Emscher (Emscher Sewage Canal) has been an essential infrastructural project in this overall context in recent years [1]. The aim of this project is to transfer...

Related articles:

Issue 02/2012 Germany

Biggest individual Project started for Emscher Redevelopment Scheme

It is the biggest individual project within the scope of the “Emscher Redevelopment” – a generation-spanning scheme providing the prerequisite for modernising the region’s hydro-economic...

Issue 06/2017 Germany

Final Double Breakthrough at the Emscher Sewer

With the breakthrough of the last two tunnel boring machines into the target pit of construction section 40 on June 12, 2017 the tunnel and pipe jacking work for the Emscher sewer has been completed....

Issue 03/2009 Germany

Single-Shell watertight segmental Linings in Germany

In Germany up until the end of 2008 more than 2.5 million m² of excavated area – pertaining to the external diameter of tunnels – was permanently secured using a single-shell, watertight segmental...

Issue 08/2012

High-Precision Segments: Prerequisite for a high-quality monocoque Tunnel

1 Starting Situation When producing single-shell tunnels excavated by shield, the dimensions of the segments – defined by the segment tolerances, are of enormous significance regarding the...

Issue 07/2017 Germany

New Emscher Sewer Tunnel: VMT provided TBM Navigation and Work Safety Concept in BA 40

The construction of the 51 km long Abwasserkanal Emscher (AKE) sewer tunnel is the largest individual project to improve the River Emscher in the Ruhr, Germany and is technically and financially one...