A team of researchers recently shifted its operations to Edmonton, Alberta, from Hong Kong to continue development of a new alignment-control and surveying system for tunnel-boring operations. The city is helping with on-the job testing of the system, which is based on a successfully tested, smaller version for utility tunnels. Researchers aim to have a fully operational system for use in the construction of a large-diameter drainage tunnel this April.“The tunneling industry is losing productivity and having problems with quality control” because it lacks real-time survey data, says Ming Lu, associate professor at the University of Alberta. He says the
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.