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LOVAT's Olympic gold May 2009
- Sochi on the Black Sea is experiencing the pain and prosperity of a city under construction with billions being spent to ready the Russian resort to welcome the world to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Planned spending of $US12.6 billion is what it will take to stage the international event. Of that, $US5.8 billion of state funding is set aside for infrastructure improvements including the construction of a new bypass highway, a main road through the city, and a new rail link.
First LOVAT TBM arrives in Sochi
- According to the Russian organizing committee the public projects are designed to transport 20,000 spectators every hour to and from Sochi and neighboring towns to the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana 22 miles away where the Alpine events will be staged.
- Roadheaders are already at work on the 15 highway and road tunnels, while the first of five TBMs recently arrived to excavate the rail tunnels. The new rail link from the coastal town of Adler, near Sochi, to the Caucasus Mountains resort includes the excavation of five separate tunnels, three service and two railway, totaling more than 16.4km (10.2 miles).
- The project is a boon for Canadian TBM manufacturer LOVAT which is supplying all five TBMs for the tunneling work to Russian contractor OAO Bamtonnelstroy, engaged to build the link for the Russian Federal Railways (RZD)
- LOVAT delivered its first machine in March 2009. The 5.9m diameter TBM is currently being assembled and will begin its 2,400m drive this summer. A second 4.3m diameter LOVAT TBM manufactured for OAO Bamtonnelstroy in 2008 is expected to arrive in Sochi in the coming weeks to tackle a 2,800m tunnel drive. Two double shield TBMs, one 6.2m diameter the other 10m diameter, will each excavate 4,200m of tunnel. The smaller one is scheduled to arrive in early June after refurbishment is completed with the larger double shield expected in late summer. The fifth machine, a new 10.6m TBM, is currently being manufactured at LOVAT's Toronto plant with completion expected in January 2010 and a scheduled start on its 2,800m drive in June 2010.
- Tunnelling operations are already underway on the new bypass highway and main road designed to eliminate gridlock in and around Sochi. The project includes a total of 15 tunnels ranging from a few hundred meters to less than 3km. Most are NATM tunnels with a total of five Wirth Paurat roadheaders doing most of the excavations.
- In addition to the infrastructure spending, $US5 billion of private investment backed by state guarantees is planned for commercial projects including 13 Olympic venues and another $1.8 billion needed to run the sporting event.
- The roadheaders and TBMs will be running against an ambitious timeline to complete all the works by 2013.