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Tunnel Boring

Tunnel Boring Machine efficiencies and capabilities have been tremendously increased in the last fifteen years, and the possibilities today are greatly different from those that existed in the seventies and eighties when the old plans for a Mediterranean Sea-Dead Sea canal and tunnel project was proposed and abandoned because of political and economic concerns. Today, according to the most experienced tunnel boring experts, it is possible to build a segmented concrete lined tunnel of ten meter inside diameter from Palmahim to Nahal Avnat for approximately one billion US dollars. Refer to the tunnel estimates link under design concepts to see an estimation prepared by the senior tunnel design engineer of Halcrow Group Ltd, UK.

Following are some links that will provide information about modern tunnel boring capabilities. Wirth Europe and Herrenknecth AG have both expressed keen interest in the Ezekiel's Water Project tunnel design and construction.

The Robbins Company has been engaged in the design and manufacture of tunneling and mining equipment since 1951. Since then, Robbins TBMs have bored over 3,500 km of tunnel on more than 700 projects worldwide with machines ranging in size from 2.0m diameter to 11.87m diameter.
http://www.robbinstbm.com/products/tunnel/double_shield.shtml

Order for World's Largest EPB Shield Tunneling Machine From Spain
http://www.mhi.co.jp/enews/e_1019.html

Start of second tunnel boring machine in Gotthard Base Tunnel North
On Tuesday, August 19, 2003, on the construction site at Amsteg of The AlpTransit Gotthard Company, the second tunnel boring machine for mechanically driving the Gotthard Base Tunnel on the north side of the Alps started operation. Between now and 2008, it will drive the west tunnel through 11.4 km of rock to Sedrun.
http://www.alptransit.ch/pages/e/

The Wirth TBMs so far have been accomplishing record day advances of up to 64 m, the best monthly performance was 982.4 m
http://www.tunnelbuilder.com/

Helpful information from Wirth-Europe
I understand tunnelling will be in dry condition and open mode excavation will be possible, will say the excavation face will not necessary to be sealed by the machine. So, a telescopic type hard rock tunnel boring machine will be a good choice for the project. The monthly performance rate for a machine of this type and style in the strata you mention would be approx. 500 m - 600 m on the average with peak performance of up to 900 m and even more.
http://www.wirth-europe.com

Herrenknecht and Wirth compete in Spain.

Guadarrama
It could not get any more exciting than what Spain has arranged for the completion of this 26.7 km long high-speed railway through the Sierra de Guadarrama: a racetrack through the mountains, where two competing TBM manufacturers can demonstrate to the international market who is ahead in TBM technology and service. Both, Herrenknecht and Wirth, will supply two Double Shield Machines ( 9.51 m).
http://en.structurae.de/structures/data/index.cfm?id=s0007961