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Russia Wharf Tunnel Segment

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA)

The project involved tunneling through timber foundation piles using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) with ground freezing for temporary building and tunnel support. The binocular tunnel was waterproofed using a full round PVC membrane and has a shotcrete final lining for permanent tunnel support. Timber piles of the buildings are socketed in the tunnel’s shotcrete initial lining and resting on the binocular tunnel which serves as a building foundation long-term.

Tunnel Construction Support Services and Consulting:

Gall Zeidler Consultants (GZ) advised on the construction of this binocular bus and light rail tunnel beneath the historic Russia Wharf and Graphic Arts buildings in Boston, Massachusetts. GZ’s services included consulting on the contractor’s ground freezing program, proposal of a fast ring closure method, shotcrete final lining alternative, and instrumentation and monitoring.


Boston, Massachusetts


1998 – 2004


Bus and Light Rail Tunnel


Approximately 410 feet (125 meters)


Width: 40 feet (12.1 meters)
Height: 30 feet (9.2 meters)


Shallow Cover of Fill, Organic Silt, Marine Clay; Groundwater Table Above the Tunnel Toof


Approximately $20 Million


Dr. G. Sauer Corporation


Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA)