On 29 March 2019, Contractor JV of PORR Bau GmbH/G. Hinteregger & Söhne Baugesellschaft m.b.H./Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A./Itinera S.p.A began tunnelling works on Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner’s 5.6km long south exploratory tube.
Building the exploratory tunnel will be critical milestone in the construction of the largest tunnelling project in the history of Austria, the 55km long Brenner Base Tunnel.
Work on Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner began in late autumn 2018. Following intensive preparatory work, the excavation of the exploratory tunnel will be carried out using the drill & blast method with a shotcrete lining. Along the alignment the geological challenges associated with the Hochstegen zone will need to be overcome. The exploratory tunnel will run centrally at a depth of 12m below the two main tunnel tubes. Around 1.2km of exploratory tunnel has already been driven on the preceding lot “Wolf 2”.
The breakthrough in the direction of Italy should occur in around four years.
The PORR consortium was awarded the €1bn contract for Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner by client, BBT SE Galleria di Base del Brennero Brenner Basistunnel Gesellschaftin March 2018.
The construction phase for the entire Brenner Base Tunnel involves building the two main tunnel tubes between Pfons and Brenner, around 9km of exploratory tunnel, and an emergency stop and transfer point at St. Jodok.
The two main, single-track tunnel tubes will primarily be driven by 10.37m diameter TBMs with the entire lot supplied via a single access shaft.
“The Brenner Base Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure projects for Austria and the European Union. The construction process is very tight and highly organised in order to successfully meet the contractual construction period of 74 months for the shell construction. Our comprehensive knowhow, especially related to every tunnelling method and in project management, is essential for the realisation of this project. We are very pleased to be able to put our expertise to the test in the course of this project”, said PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss.