London’s new artery opens for traffic in 2018
Europe’s largest infrastructure project focuses on safety and sustainability
By the year 2030 the Greater London area is estimated to have a population of some ten million. To support this development, and maintain London’s place as a world-class city, major investments are made in the transport system.
A vital part of it is Crossrail – a new, high capacity service linking 40 stations over 118 kilometers, from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Heathrow and Reading in the west. This includes 21 kilometers of brand new twin-bore tunnels. In a densely populated metropolis like London this is a major challenge in itself.
From the very first planning meeting and onwards, sustainability has been a fundamental and multifaceted consideration, both regarding the construction phase and long-term. Throughout the project, the impact of the construction work on the environment and the community will be minimized. Steps are also taken towards a safer environment for the people involved in construction.
Once completed, this new world-class railway system will be operated sustainably through the reuse of excavated spoil, ethical sourcing, clean and energy-efficient plant and equipment, and so forth.
For many Londoners, the new high-frequency services will ultimately result in significantly reduced commuting time. In the meantime, for many home and business owners along the new lines, it also raises questions about noise and vibrations in conjunction with the extensive tunneling works.
Monitoring noise and vibrations
According to documents shared with concerned residents in one area, ”Crossrail are liable to make good any damage, including cosmetic damage, such as sticking doors or cracks in paint or window frames. Crossrail expect any damage would appear within a few days of tunneling, but residents can claim any time up to two years after tunneling”.
Today, whether or not any major damages will actually occur, this kind of far-reaching assurance is standard practice in most projects, and contractors monitor noise and vibration on a regular basis. New technology allows for monitoring noise and vibrations with greater precision, for example in tunnel shafts near surrounding buildings and other infrastructure.
Mattias Hermansson, Sigicom’s Regional Sales Manager UK: “Today, this can be done cost-efficiently around the clock, also from a remote location. We have seen an increased awareness of these issues, both noise and vibration but also dust.
Many local authorities care greatly for their citizens and impose strict regulations for how much disturbances are allowed. Both the local authorities and the project managers benefit from a robust and reliable system. Naturally, the authorities want to know of any breaches and the project mangers want to make sure they are under the limit and have the data to validate it.”
Sigicom is a leading supplier of measurement technology. Construction companies and consultancy companies around the world regularly use the company’s solutions for measuring noise, vibration and dust in conjunction with major construction projects.