Bridges, Tunnels and other Transportation Structures
Full Session with Abstracts
Highway tunnels are critical links in the transportation network, allowing motorists to avoid long detours and pass beneath mountains, large bodies of water, or urban areas. In many cases, tunnels are the preferred alternatives over the more commonly employed highway structures due to their significant economic, social and environmental advantages. In Virginia, highway tunnels represent a multi-billion dollar investment and they are used by more than 400,000 vehicles every day, making them critical transportation facilities for the state’s economy and vehicular mobility. Operating and maintaining such critical infrastructure remains a challenge for owners especially due to the unique man-made and naturally occurring hazards that can occur at these underground structures. This presentation will examine several of the risks and challenges associated with highway tunnels, including several examples of recent hazards in tunnels operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation. These examples will cover a variety of different hazards, including recent vehicle fires, flooding, structural deterioration, and water infiltration. For each of these hazards, this presentation will provide details and lessons learned during the evaluation, repair and strengthening of the tunnels.