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The Risks Associated with TBM Procurement and the Next Steps Towards Industry Change

Risk management in the world of TBM tunneling is, in itself, a risky business. The underground often presents obstacles and complex projects spanning miles of tunnel multiply those risks. However, there are ways to manage and reduce risk in our industry; i.e., by ensuring that thorough geotechnical studies are done and that contingency plans are in place. The TBM itself can be designed with risk reduction in mind, using tools that expand visualization of the ground around the machine and arm the contractor with ways to get through challenging ground conditions with minimal delays. This paper explores risk in TBM tunneling from the viewpoints of the consultant, the contractor, and the equipment manufacturer. It also seeks to make recommendations as to how risk can be better managed in today’s tunneling industry.


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