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Large Caverns for Metro Stations in Buenos Aires

Alejo Sfriso and Jorge Laiun
Thursday, May 1, 2014
First presented: 
World Tunnel Congress, Brazil
Published paper

Buenos Aires Metro Line H, in Argentina runs N-S, at the west side of the city's downtown area. An extension of the line started in 2011. A TBM tunnel and one cut&cover station will be built southbound in estuary soft holocene soils; a NATM tunnel and three cavern stations are being built northbound in stiff cemented silts and clays. The experience accumulated in the last fifteen years has allowed for continuous advancements in the construction methodologies used for tunnels and underground caverns in stiff soils. Nowadays, the Line H northbound caverns - approximately 135m long and with a +200m2 face - are being excavated full face with excellent performance, far better than previous experiences where more conservative, staggered excavation procedures were employed. In this paper, the evolution of the NATM techniques in Buenos Aires´s big metro caverns is reviewed; the advanges and disadvantages of the changes in procedures are discussed and different optimization alternatives awaiting to be developed are described.

Feature Author

Alejo Oscar Sfriso

Alejo O. Sfriso is a Principal Engineer with 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering for infrastructure and mining works. He is an expert in the application of numerical methods for geotechnical design and analysis. In addition to his activity at SRK, he is the Director of AOSA - Geotechnical Laboratory, Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geology of the University of Buenos Aires, Vice President for South America of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering for the period 2017 - 2021, former Professor of Geotechnics at the National University of La Plata and former President of the Argentinean Society of Geotechnical Engineering.

Principal Consultant
PhD, Civil Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
Jorge Laiun

Jorge has worked on problems of tunneling and underground works since 2004. He has participated in the geotechnical and structural design as well as in the optimization of construction procedures of tunnels for the underground network of Buenos Aires and Santiago. His expertise includes rock tunnels for mining in a variery of projects located in Argentina and Chile. Jorge has 13 years of experience and participation in the design of geotechnical and structural projects. He has focused his experience in the design using numerical methods applied to geotechnics.

Principal Consultant
Geotechnical & Structural Engineer
SRK Buenos Aires
SRK North America