Today, underwater tunnels are often created with humongous tunnel-boring machines (tbms) — sometimes called moles. These machines cost millions of dollars, but they can create large tunnels in a very short time. A circular plate with disk cutters rotates to cut through rock as the machine inches forward slowly.
How Do They Build Tunnels Underwater?
Building tunnels underwater is a complex and expensive process, which requires a lot of planning and engineering. It is an incredibly difficult task that requires an intricate understanding of hydraulics and the properties of soil, as well as advanced engineering and construction techniques.
First, engineers must consider the environmental impact of the tunnel and the surrounding area to ensure it won’t cause any damage to the environment. They must also consider the surrounding traffic, the soil type, and the nature of the tunnel itself. The design of the tunnel must ensure the safety of those working on the project, as well as the safety of the people who will use it.
Once the design is complete, the engineers must develop a plan for the construction of the tunnel. This involves the selection of the materials, such as steel, concrete, or a combination of the two, as well as the choice of appropriate construction techniques.
The most common technique for building tunnels underwater is the “immersed tube method”. In this method, pre-fabricated concrete or steel tubes are submerged and connected to form a continuous tunnel. This method is used for tunnels that are relatively short and relatively shallow.
In some cases, a “cut-and-cover”