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  3. What Hitachi Zosen Can Do For the Earth, for People
  4. Supporting Everyday Living
  5. 2. Building underground infrastructure

Supporting Everyday Living

2. Building underground infrastructure

Building underground infrastructure

The role of shield tunneling machines in underground infrastructure construction

Shield tunneling machines are indispensable for construction of underground infrastructure such as subways, motorway tunnels and underground river channels for flood prevention.
Shield tunneling machines are like giant moles that burrow underground using a slowly revolving cutter face containing multiple cutter bits. Tunnel walls are constructed from segments that are assembled in sequence as the tunnel progresses.
Hitachi Zosen built the first shield tunnel machine in 1967, and has since supplied some 1,200 machines to clients throughout the world.
Hitachi Zosen has developed a range of shield tunneling machines to suit various client requirements in terms of tunnel size, depth and distance as well as particular specifications such as high-tech and variable cross-section tunneling.

Construction of Bosphorus Strait railway tunnel in Turkey

Hitachi Zosen has supplied shield tunneling machines for the construction of railway tunnels under the Bosphorus Strait that divides the east and west sides of Istanbul.
Four Hitachi Zosen shield tunneling machines are being used to dig two tunnels, one of length 4,610 meters from the Asia side of Istanbul and one of length 3,340 meters from the Europe side.
The two bridges that currently link the east and west sides of the Bosphorus Strait are plagued by chronic traffic congestion and are blamed for severe atmospheric pollution. The new railway tunnel is designed to ease these problems.
Construction commenced in 2008 and the tunnels are due to be joined in 2013.



Hitachi Zosen shield tunneling machine
being used to dig Bosphorus Strait railway tunnel

Accelerated shield tunneling method reduces construction times


Hitachi Zosen shield tunneling machine being used in the construction of the Shinagawa to Oi tunnel on theCentral Circular Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo.

The URUP shield tunneling method developed by Obayashi Corporation substantially reduces construction times by allowing shield tunneling machines to begin digging from above ground. Hitachi Zosen has designed special shield tunneling machines for the URUP method. These are currently being used in the construction of the Shinagawa to Oi tunnel on the Central Circular Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo.

CSR ACTIVITIES