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Liberty Tunnel Rehabilitation Project

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)

The Liberty Tunnel consists of two 5,888-foot (1,795-meter) long tubes, which run through Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The tunnels provide a direct route to downtown Pittsburgh from the South Hills suburbs, easing traffic flow between the two locations. The Liberty Tunnel was opened to traffic in January 1924 and has gone through a series of upgrades and repairs.

Liberty Tunnel Rehabilitation Design Services: ITA (International Tunneling Award) 2014 Award Winner for “Rehabilitation Project of the Year”:

Gall Zeidler Consultants provided the rehabilitation design for the tunnels’ aging ventilation arch walls. The ventilation arch walls act as tunnel-shaped jet structures for fresh air supply to the inside of the tunnel. Gall Zeidler Consultants provided an alternative design for the replacement  of the  arch walls  in-lieu  of the original contract design that proposed the use of self- consolidating concrete for the ventilation arch walls and support the arch walls with radial hangers that were tied to the structural tunnel arch above. The proposed alternative concept used a self-bearing shotcrete arch wall and embedded lattice girders, which avoided the utilization of the radial hangers as well as the cast-in-place, self-consolidating concrete.

The alternative shotcrete concept provided the Contractor with a schedule and cost saving solution under the given tight construction window allowed during a complete shutdown of the tunnels.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


2012 – 2013


Two twin tunnels


5,888 feet (1,795 meters) each


27 feet (8.2 meters) at springline


Conemaugh Group, including Glenshaw and Casselman formations(cyclic sequences of sandstone, shale, red beds, limestone and coal); Monogahela Group (cyclic sequences of shale, limestones, sandstone and coal); Pittsburgh Coal


Swank Construction Company


Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)