Hatch Mott MacDonald was named the 2003 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation winner for its tunnel-jacking design for the Boston Central Artery project. This year’s award was given in conjunction with the ASCE Opal Awards Gala at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Charles H. Thornton, chairman of The Thornton-Tomasetti Group Inc. and Harvey M. Bernstein, president and CEO of CERF, presented the award to the Hatch Mott MacDonald team. They accepted the award on behalf of their collaborators: Maguire Group & Harris; Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff; Slattery, Interbeton, J.F. White, Perini; Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority; Amtrak; Massachusetts Turnpike Authority; Federal Highway Administration; University of Illinois, and the University of Southampton, UK.
The tunnel jacking for Boston’s Central Artery Project is the largest and most complex project of its kind, necessitating numerous firsts and innovations in the field of civil engineering.
The project consisted of three massive tunnels that were jacked under operating rail tracks that remained fully functional for the duration of the project with no service interruptions, track relocations, or train speed restrictions.
Some major innovations developed for the project include global ground freezing and a special anti-drag system above and beneath the tunnels, utilizing steel ropes.
In addition, the excavations for the three tunnels, which at more than 375 ft. long, 80 ft. wide, and 40 ft. high were 10 times the size of any previously attempted jacked tunnels in the United States, constituted the largest urban excavations ever undertaken in the city of Boston. This required advanced bracing systems that incorporated deep, stiff wall structures with deep soil improvements by jet grouting. The project, which was opened to the public in January 2003, represents a singular achievement in the field of civil engineering.
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