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Seminar on The State-of-the-art Technology and Experience on Geotechnical Engineering in Korea and Hong Kong - 28 Mar 2008

2008 Geotechnical Division, The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

SOME EXPERIENCE FROM THE SOFT GROUND TUNNELLING


IN URBAN AREA

Seung-Ryull Kim
ESCO Consultant & Engineers Company Ltd
Seoul, Korea

Abstract:GPoor geological conditions are often encountered during underground construction


in urban areas. Additionally, buildings, underground infrastructures and other facilities are
more densely situated along or under the streets of a city or town. Changes to groundwater
levels or ground displacement caused by underground openings or deep excavations will have
a negative impact on existing structures particularly those located in areas with poor subsoil
conditions. This paper will address some valuable technical solutions concerning safe
tunnelling in soft geological conditions. Successful case histories will also be presented with
an emphasis on auxiliary measures.

INTRODUCTION
Generally, subway tunnels are constructed as near to the surface as possible. This is primarily
because access to the system for passengers at stations will be more convenient and less
expensive in terms of capital and also in terms of operation and maintenance taking into
consideration facilities such as escalators or lifts. For this reason, construction is often
conducted in relatively soft soil conditions such as alluvial deposits, clay and weathered soil.
The two main methods employed in constructing subway systems in urban areas are the cut-
and-cover method and the bored tunnelling method. The former is used for relatively shallow
runs following underneath streets while the latter is used primarily for deep construction or
for routes that run underneath other structures or residential areas. Invariably, both methods
result in lowering the groundwater table which will cause a significant amount of ground
settlement in areas composed of compressible layers of soil like clay or silt in cases where the
excavation needs to be performed below the in-situ groundwater table. The incurrence of
lateral displacement is also a phenomenon common to both methods.

For successful tunnelling adjacent to or beneath existing structures in urban areas, additional
measures are often used to protect the structures from damage and to help ensure their
stability. The following sections describe two types of measures that are frequently employed
in urban area soft ground tunnelling and finally the case historiesU

TUNNEL PROFILES, SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

Typical Tunnel Profiles and Support Systems


Typical tunnel profiles used for the Seoul subway construction are schematically shown in
Figure 1. The horseshoe shape was most frequently accepted in the various geological
conditions with the groundwater drainage systems. The oval shape and circular shape were
accepted for the poor geological conditions or the conditions with a higher groundwater head.

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a) Horseshoe shape b) Oval shape c) Circular shape

Fig. 1: Schematic diagram of subway tunnel profiles for single track

Several different types of support systems were used relevant to the geological conditions.
Typical support systems for the Seoul subway construction are illustrated in Figure 2 below.

Support Pattern PD-2 PD-3 PD-4 PD-5


Ground class
Round length 1.0~1.5m 1.2~1.8m 1.35~2.0m 1.5~2.5m
Shotcrete lining 200~250mm 200mm 150mm 100mm
SD35, D25 SD35, D25 SD35, D25
Rock Length
L=3m L=3m L=3m Random
Bolt
No. 16~17EA/1.0m 12~13 EA/1.2m 9~10 EA/1.35m
Steel Type H-125 H-125 H-100
Rib Spacing 1.0~1.5m 1.2~1.8m 1.35~2.0m
Thickness of
300~400mm 300~400mm 300~400mm 300~400mm
Concrete lining

Sketch

Fig. 2: Typical support systems for Seoul subway tunnels

Tunnel Drainage Systems


Generally, tunnel profiles depend on drainage systems after tunnelling, which are decided by
evaluations of construction cost, maintenance cost for service period and impacts caused by
the drawdown of groundwater and related settlement, ete. There are two different types of
groundwater dealing method in tunnel drainage systems. One is a watertight tunnel and the
other is a drained tunnel. The highest groundwater head considered as bearable for the
watertight tunnel is limited to 7 bars. It means watertight tunnel drainage systems are not
recommended where the groundwater head is more than 70 meters in Korea.

In watertight tunnels, the entire periphery of concrete lining is enclosed by waterproofing


membrane as shown in Figure 3a and no drainage from the tunnel is made. Thus, the concrete
lining shall be subjected to the groundwater pressure corresponding to the water head. The
watertight tunnels are the best option in the area where heavy groundwater inflow takes place

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with reasonable low water head. Moreover, it also apply for the case that the drawdown of the
groundwater table may give damages to the existing buildings and facilities above the tunnel.
The drained tunnels are tunnels in which proper drainage system is provided for the water
drainage throughout the lifetime of tunnels. The construction cost of drained tunnel is more
economical as compared to watertight tunnel, while maintenance cost is higher.

Drained tunnels are the best option in the region where the inflow of the groundwater is
less and there is no hazard due to drawdown of groundwater table.

G
a) Watertight tunnel b) Drained tunnel

Fig. 3: Schematic tunnel profiles of watertight tunnel and drained tunnel

MEASURES AGAINST GROUNDWATER


Definitions of waterproofing are always subjective. Acknowledging that there are neither
structures nor techniques capable of guaranteeing 100% watertightness, it is therefore a matter
of implementing a number of control measures that will guarantee a high level of
waterproofing.

Cut-and-cover Tunnelling
The cut-and-cover method refers to the provision of a shallow structure formed by first
making an excavation from the surface in which the structure is later built. Backfilling and the
restoration of the surface ground follow thereafter. There are many variations possible in
construction sequences as well as the materials used for temporary and permanent structures.
This type of construction in running tunnels is generally cheaper than providing the same
facilities in bored tunnels and also avoids the need for tunnelling specialists, which are often
in short supply. However, extensive surface disruption along the route is likely to occur
during construction. This method also requires either the demolition of or complex temporary
supports for existing structures and public utilities unless the construction takes place
underneath open ground.

The cut-and-cover method obviously results in a displacement of surrounding earth, vertically


and horizontally, either through a removal of the earth, a release of naturally occurring
stresses or the movement of groundwater. The magnitude of this ground movement depends
largely on the nature of ground, groundwater conditions, the method of excavation and the use
of retaining structures. This section will briefly describe some possible techniques that are
effective in minimizing groundwater movement.

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Figure 4 shows a typical cross section view of the cut-and-cover tunnelling method with a
hydraulic cut-off scheme. There are two distinctive schema for hydraulic cut-off used in cut-
and-cover construction: one involves the placement of an impermeable barrier along the entire
circumference of the excavation area; the other entails improving the watertightness of the
surrounding ground using ground treatment methods such as permeation grouting, jet grouting,
the casting of in-situ concrete piling, compaction grouting and ground freezing etc.

Fig. 4: Typical cross section of cut-and-cover method with a groundwater cut-off scheme

1) Impermeable Cut-off Walls


With the cut-and-cover method, the most common types of groundwater cut-offs achieved
by installing an impermeable barrier into the ground are diaphragm walling and sheet piling,
as shown in Figure 5. Both of these have been used extensively as cut-offs against water flow
particularly in areas with relatively soft ground. To ensure the effectiveness of the cut-offs, the
walls are sunk to an impermeable stratum or suitable cut-off level. Socketing into hard rock
strata is possible if necessary, though it does present some challenges. In the case of the
diaphragm wall, a plain concrete wall is satisfactory if it is used solely as a water cut-off.
Equipment used for constructing these walls need to provide significant vertical clearance.
Sheet piling techniques, on the other hand, often encounter difficulties when they are driven
into ground that has a lot of gravel. Special care must be taken to prevent water leakage from
the toe of the sheet pile.

Fig. 5: Diaphragm wall and sheet pile construction

2) Concrete Piling Walls


The different types of wall constructions for underground works are: 1) contiguous bored-pile
walls; 2) true secant bored-pile walls; 3) pseudo-secant bored-pile walls. Two latter bored-
piles as depicted in Figure 6a and 6b can be used to create watertightness in the cut-and-cover
method. True secant bored-pile walls comprise a row of piles intersecting one another.
Pseudo-secant bored-pile walls are composed of either a contiguous bored-pile wall with an
immediate area behind the wall jet or watertight grouting to provide a good water seal.

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(a) Contiguous piled wall (b) True secant piled wall (c) Pseudo-secant piled wall

(d) Concrete pile walls

Fig. 6: Types of bored-pile walling

Soil-cement walls can also be formed by jet grouting. Jet grouting, as illustrated in Figure 7,
uses a high-velocity thin jet of water. As the jet rotates the water cuts through the soil and
disintegrates it. In this process, the soil is simultaneously dislodged and mixed with the grout.
The grout does not penetrate the soil either by permeation or splitting; simply, it becomes
thoroughly mixed in-situ with the water and soil within the cavity created by the spinning
water jet. No grouting pressure is applied. The objective here is to create a series of soil-
cement column walls and the main role of the jet grouting is to strengthen the ground.
Additionally, the nature of its watertightness serves to provide reliable cut-off walls. It is
recommended to set up a proper process for spoil treatment when applying this technique.

Fig. 7:. Schematic diagram of jet grouting and completed jet columns at construction site

Bored Tunnelling
In unstable geological conditions that are pervious and weak soil condition, mass ground
treatments often serve as adequate solutions for tunnels where mechanized tunnelling is not
feasible. Figure 8 illustrates a typical example of such a situation. To construct shallow
tunnels in an urban area, treatment from the ground surface is always preferred since it avoids
most of the difficulties concerning groundwater. It also allows the ground treatment to be
carried out in advance and, therefore, independently of tunnelling operations. However, this
requires: 1) careful investigation and localization of underground facilities/infrastructures; 2)
temporary restrictions to surface traffic; 3) additional dead drilling length through overburden.

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Fig. 8; Ground treatment along tunnel periphery from the ground surface

If the ground to be treated is cohesionless and has a greater permeability, drilling from below
the groundwater table will tend to produce a large ingress of water and eventually soil erosion.
The use of stuffing boxes at grout hole heads is necessary to avoid these problems. Drilling
operations, therefore, become significantly more complicated when this situation occurs at the
tunnel face. Where groundwater is a problem, the pervious soil around the tunnel must be
completely sealed off at the treated zone. Ground treatment from the tunnel face is usually
carried out through a succession of different steps. Figure 9 illustrates a typical example of
this kind of treatment.

Fig. 9: Cross section and profile of typical ground treatment from tunnel face

Apart from the difficulties related to construction described above, treatment from the tunnel
face also presents several other difficulties: 1) limited working space; 2) possible standing
time of tunnelling; 3) increased work and costs involved, compared to vertical ones.
Consequently, this type of treatment is usually carried out only when: 1) the depth is
excessive; 2) access from the ground surface is impossible, or; 3) greater accuracy is needed
for installing freezing tubes, for example.

Permeation Grouting around the Underground Opening


We can consider permeation to have been
achieved once the fluidity of the grout and
the grouting pressure have caused the grout
to penetrate voids in the ground while
removing the water without displacing soil
or widening existing fissures.

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(a) Numerical simulation (b) Monitored results from Seikan tunnel

Fig. 10: Relationship between the size of grouting zone and the groundwater infiltration

Perfect permeation is a complete substitution, replacing the free water in the ground with the
grouting material without distorting the structure of the ground. This type of ground treatment
is referred to as permeation grouting. Grouting materials should be selected according to how
well they can penetrate a particular ground condition. Chemical grouting is preferred to
ensure the cut-off walls function properly. With this technique, the key issue is the formation
of a homogeneous cut-off wall at the designated location and depth.

Figure 10 shows the relationship between the width of a grouted zone and the amount of
water inflow into a tunnel. We can clearly see that the decrease in groundwater infiltration
according to increases in the size of the grouted zone are most significant up to a thickness of
about two meters, beyond which the amount of infiltration decreases at a diminishing rate. It
is interesting to note from these results that using a grouted zone with a greater thickness
results in only a small reduction in the amount of water infiltration.

GROUND STRENGTHENING THROUGH INJECTION METHODS


To minimize ground displacement vertically or horizontally, ground-strengthening techniques
are often required. In the case of cut-and-cover tunnel construction, not only are stiffer
temporary support systems needed, the strengthening of the ground adjacent to existing
structures is also crucial for safe excavations in areas with poor geological subsoil conditions.
When problems concerning serious ground runs are expected during the excavation of a bored
tunnel, ground strengthening should be carried out to form a continuous zone of stabilized soil
surrounding the axis of the future tunnel opening.

Cut-and-cover Tunnelling
In the case of cut-and-cover tunnelling, one of the ground strengthening methods that is
generally accepted is the grouting technique. There are actually several different types of
grouting techniques currently available, each with their own applications and benefits. They
are commonly classified as: compaction grouting, fracture grouting, chemical grouting,
permeation grouting and jet grouting.

Compaction grouting entails a thick mortar mix that acts as a radial hydraulic jack, creating
bulbs or lenses, thus displacing and compressing the surrounding ground to some extent.
Chemical grouting is one of the types of permeation grouting with a relatively low-viscosity
grout. This type of grouting is distinguished by the mechanism in which the grout fills the
voids in the ground without causing any substantial change to the original volume or structure
of the ground area. Hydrofracturing grouting fragments the ground using water in order to
increase the total stresses through a wedging action of successive thin grout lenses, filling

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unconnected spaces or fissures and possibly consolidating the soil under the pressure of the
injection. Jet grouting provides a valuable solution for a wide range of problems when
conventional injection methods are unsuitable, unsafe or too expensive.

Jet grouting is among the newer generation of ground treatment methods and its popularity is
growing rapidly around the world. Its development largely came through a need to be able to
treat fine-grained soils that are normally untreatable using permeation grouting and for which
significantly high amounts of strength are required. This method complies quite well with the
stringently environmentally controlled circumstances that chemical grouts cannot meet.

Fig.11: Schematic presentation of ground strengthening using the grouting technique

Bored Tunnelling
Weak ground conditions where serious ground runs have occurred should be strengthened
prior to heading. Under such circumstances, grout could be injected so as to form a zone of
stabilized ground around the excavated surface of the tunnel. As this stabilized zone becomes
larger and stronger, surface settlements become smaller. Finite Element studies of this matter,
conducted by many researchers have revealed that a structurally competent stabilized soil
zone around a tunnel acts as a compression ring and prevents stress changes from being felt in
the soft soil beyond. This, in turn, reduces the effects of compression in the untreated soil and
thus limits the amount of settlement at the ground surface above the tunnel.

However, it is interesting to see in Figure 12 how decreases in the surface settlements


achieved by increases in the zone size are most significant up to a thickness of about three
meters. Use of a larger strengthened zone produces only a small further reduction in surface
settlements. For this reason, a thickness of three meters could be considered optimum. The
use of greater thicknesses is primarily useful only as an added safety feature, due to the fact
that the placement of grout in the tunnel face is difficult to be achieved with a great measure
of accuracy.

Fig. 12: Correlation between stabilized zone thickness and surface settlement

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Figure 12 has as its assumption that the grouting zone completely surrounds the tunnel
opening. This situation is not possible where soil layers that cannot be treated with grout are
located in the face area. Such a discontinuous grouting zone might be accepted even in a
homogeneous ground. In cases where only the soil above the springline of the tunnel is
grouted in the homogeneous ground condition, ground movements have been found to be
greater than those within a continuous zone that has a lesser thickness but uses the same area
extent of grouted soil. This means that, for a given amount of grouting, a continuous zone of
grouting around the tunnel opening is more effective in controlling ground movement. Figure
13 shows the effectiveness of the shape of grouted zone qualitatively using numerical
simulations.

Fig. 13: Effect related to the shape of a grouted zone in homogeneous ground

SAFE TUNNELLING IN SOFT GROUND

Cut-and-cover Tunnelling
It is essential to provide protection for adjacent existing structures when a new excavation
reaches a depth at which a loss of bearing capacity, settlements, or lateral movements to the
existing properties could occur. New construction may employ the cut-and-cover method
when the excavation depth is not sufficient to utilize tunnelling method. This type of work
requires the installation of some kind of earth retaining structures.

The retaining structure may be constructed with: 1) sheetpiling; 2) soldier beams with
lagging; 3) in-situ concrete piles, and; 4) diaphragm walls. The most commonly applied
system in which to hold the retaining wall in place is a bracing system with wales and struts,
shown in Figure 14a. Construction costs associated with shallow cut-and-cover tunnels are
less than those for bored tunnels; however, this cost goes up dramatically as depth is increased.
Furthermore, this technique also tends to have significantly disruptive effects in particularly
congested urban environment.

When cut-and-cover excavation is made in sandy soil and clay, the stability of the bottom
against such things as boiling (Figure 14b) and heaving (Figure 14c) should be attended to for
matters of safety. To prevent boiling in sandy soil, the hydraulic gradient should be reduced
by lowering the groundwater table behind the retaining wall structure or by increasing the
length of the waterflow path. To avoid a base instability of the excavation in a soft clay
stratum, soil along the bottom area needs to be sufficiently strengthened.

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(a) Wales and struts (b) Boiling (c) Heaving

Fig. 14: Schematic diagram of temporary structures for cut-and-cover tunneling

Schema for Reinforcement ahead of Bored Tunnel Face


Reinforcement ahead of a tunnel face is generally obtained by creating a structurally strong
ground to improve stability in the span of tunnel. In bored tunnelling, the most versatile
technique used to reinforce the ground for this purpose is jet grouting, which forms an
umbrella-like arch ahead of the face. When a jet-grouting umbrella is created, the columns are
designed to overlap each other so that they provide an archway around the tunnel. They are
usually reinforced using steel pipes installed inside the columns. The size of the steel pipes
usually depends on the nature of ground conditions and the construction equipment used.
Each set of jet-grouting umbrellas should also properly overlap longitudinally along the
tunnel to ensure the stability of the face. Thus, the overlapping distance is determined
according to a length of advance, i.e. round length, and a bench height to be excavated at once.

Fig. 15: Cross-section and profile of typical jet-grouting umbrella configuration

This technique can be applied when the overburden is too thin for other supporting techniques
or when it is necessary to control to a high extent the possible subsidence of the surface. Since
the jet-grouting arch is normally installed at the crown area of the tunnel, sub-vertical
columns are often placed at the wall area to support the jet-grouting arch. The arch supports
the soil during the excavation and homogenizes the stresses, which will act on the final
supports. The steel pipe umbrella (often called pipe roofing), or forepoling, is an umbrella
of steel pipes or beams with a truncated conical shape set on the crown of the future tunnel.
These techniques are also used to control ground run at the face. Fiberglass pipes are also
sometimes installed to reinforce the face.

However, it should be clearly understood that use of grouting, a jet-grouting umbrella or any
other auxiliary measures is not a substitute for good construction procedures.

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Fig. 16: 3-D view of steel pipe umbrella arch installed ahead of tunnel face

Excavations and Support Systems for Bored Tunnelling


The excavation progresses through a cycle of excavation, mucking and installing supports.
This cycle of work should be well organized in such a way as to produce the greatest length of
completed tunnel in the shortest possible time. To achieve this target, the smallest number of
operations possible as well as stabilization structural elements should be employed while
guaranteeing the permanent stability of the work without creating dangerous conditions for
the workers, other people or surrounding facilities located near the site.

Excavation methods can be roughly divided as follows: 1) conventional drill and blast
method; 2) conventional cyclic method using excavation machines (roadheader, high impact
hammer, mechanical excavator, etc.), and; 3) the TBM or shield method. Mechanized
tunnelling (using TBM and shield machine) is not dealt with in this paper. Drill and blast
excavation and machinery excavation can be carried out with full face heading, half face
heading or multiple bench heading (preferably crown, bench, or invert).

In soft ground conditions, the full face heading may not be applicable because of the grounds
relatively short stand-up time. Thus, the bench excavation is quite common for soft ground
tunnelling in urban areas.

The distance and interval between working cycles can be chosen freely depending on the
stand-up time of ground and the requirements for completing the support system. The multi-
phased side gallery technique has also proven to be especially suitable for urban areas with a
shallow overburden and poor subsoil conditions.

Fig. 17: Schematic diagram of bench heading

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Perhaps the most important thing related to the excavation and support system for tunnelling in poor
ground conditions is the rapid completion of the tunnel lining. Therefore, the smaller the
excavated area is, the faster the completion of the lining. Figures 17 and 18 depict the bench
heading and the multi-phased side gallery heading, respectively, in weak ground conditions.
Besides these two excavation
methods, the ring-cut, the
central diaphragm wall cut (CD-
cut) and top heading subdivision
are frequently used for soft
ground tunnelling. Sidewall
galleries are the best excavation
method for the safety of the
tunnel face and for controlling
the settlement of ground surface. Fig. 18: Schematic diagram of multi-phased side gallery heading
The ring-cut is also a common
excavation method for stabilizing the tunnel face. If the minimization of ground settlement is
a major concern during excavation, the CD-cut is perhaps the best alternative. Top-heading
subdivision is applied at a relatively large cross-section of the tunnel with relatively good
ground conditions.

(a) Ring-cut with supporting core (b) Central diaphragm wall cut (CD-cut )

Fig.19: Examples of excavation method

Tunnel support is constructed of materials brought in following the excavation. This system
of support is mainly composed of shotcrete, rock bolt and steel ribs. Shotcrete is primarily
used as a temporary application prior to a final liner being installed or as a local solution to
instabilities in a rock tunnel, however, it can also be used as a final lining. The thickness of
the shotcrete, spread at one time, is about 10cm. The next layer should be sprayed within an
hour. The order of installing the rock bolt depends on how one is to achieve the arching effect
of the tunnel periphery. One method is to install it during the line of excavation at a small
over break in a place with good ground conditions. Another way is to install it at the first
layer of shotcrete to defend against tunnel deformation after two or three excavation cycles.
Steel ribs are self-supported before the hardening of the shotcrete and increase the solidity of
the shotcrete support. Steel ribs need less connections and their shape is safe against the
applied load.

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Fig. 20: Installation of various supports

Instrumentation and monitoring plays a key role in verifying whether the support system is su
fficient. More importantly, it also serves as a warning if the support system is not performing
as intended, or is in danger of collapse. Particularly, it is essential to prevent the existing struc
tures and underground facilities from damage or even collapse as a result of the tunnelling in
an urban area. All of the data collected by the cor
rect instrumentation and monitoring system will p
rovide good communication between the engineer
and the contractor, and thus facilitate decision m
aking during the construction.

Instrumentation schema for the urban tunnelling


should be well designed to monitor the
movements of ground and structures, in particular
the movement (i.e. settlement) of existing
structures above or nearby the tunnels, or any
deformation of the tunnels themselves (i.e. tunnel Fig. 21. Typical cross-section of tunnel
lining convergence). Monitoring is initiated prior with instrument
to construction in order to establish a baseline
from which movements associated with the construction can be compared. During
construction, monitoring schedules will be carefully coordinated with excavation and the
initial line sequencing of the tunnels.

In general, monitoring is done very frequently during the excavation, when most ground and
lining movements are taking place. During the installation of the waterproofing membrane
and the final cast-in-place of the concrete lining, monitoring is less frequent as most ground
and structural movements have already occurred. During tunnel excavation, data from the
instrumentation and monitoring system is reviewed daily by the tunnels engineer and
compared to predictions. Data on building settlement can be used by the contractor to
implement a compensation-grouting program, which is very effective in keeping building
settlement within acceptable limits. In addition, monitoring data is compared with threshold
limits on lining convergence. In the event that convergence threshold limits are exceeded, the
contractor can quickly implement a contingency plan to install additional support.

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Fig.22: Ground surface settlement trough as a result of tunneling

CASE HISTORIES
To ease surface traffic congestion, most of the worlds largest cities have constructed subway
networks and continue to extend them. These networks obviously result in technical or
construction-related interference between existing structures above and below the ground and
the newly constructed subway systems. In addition to the construction of passenger
transportation tunnels, the construction of water and sewage tunnels as well as utility tunnels
for electric and communications cables also present a number of problems.

Due to the social demands concerning the use of underground structures such as waste
isolation, as well as recreational facilities and other strategic spaces, difficulties related to
construction will continue to arise more and more in near future. The types of underground
spaces we are discussing require large cross-sectional excavations, possibly through difficult
ground conditions. The future of tunnelling requires more refined and sophisticated
monitoring and excavation technologies together with superior construction measures and
techniques to address various site-specific conditions.

With some of these challenges in mind, this lecture will present a systematic survey of some
of the technical solutions and case histories in soft ground tunnelling. Brief case histories will
be provided, reflecting a broad spectrum of technical solutions employed in soft ground
tunnelling, and we will look at how these techniques are used both in designing tunnels and
selecting appropriate tunnelling methods. The case histories described in this section
primarily reflect Korean tunnelling experiences.

Choice of Support and Groundwater Cut-off in Highly Permeable Alluvial Deposits

(a) Site Characteristics


Construction lot 910 of Seouls subway line 9, as shown in Figure 23, adopted the cut-and-
cover method for the very permeable alluvial deposit consisting of silty sand and gravel. The
tunnel route was designed to be located underneath the street. The excavation went to a depth
of approximately 27m adjacent to 14-storey apartment and office buildings. The alluvial
deposit appearing at the surface in the concerned area was about 20m thick. This layer was
then underlain by weathered soil and rock, as illustrated in Figure 24. The groundwater table
was located about 9m below the surface. An appropriate construction measure was needed to
protect the buildings and even the temporary earth retaining structures from the possible
damage or collapse.

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Fig. 23: Location of the construction lot 910 Fig. 24: Subsoil profile

Fig. 25: Surface conditions of construction site

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


Ground run and boiling during the
excavation in the alluvial deposits were
expected. Particularly, some
transportation of soil due to a high
seepage force was likely during the
excavation in the alluvium, which could
possibly lead to severe ground
deformation. To prevent against these
undesirable circumstances, the
Fig. 26: Soldier piles with cast in-situ concrete
groundwater cut-off method and a cost-
wall and lagging
effective earth retaining structure were
employed.

A temporary earth retaining structure consisting of soldier piles, wales and struts with lagging
and a cast in-situ concrete wall was employed to prevent the displacement of ground.
Additionally, SGR (Space Grouting Rocket system) grouting was done, a type of permeation
grouting for the groundwater cut-off to eliminate the piping phenomenon in sandy soil. SGR
grouting was originally developed in Japan, and uses various types of chemical grouts having
different gel-times (short gel-time, long gel-time, etc.) and strengths. Grouts are permeated
into the voids in the soil using low pressure, preferably less than 5kPa, generated through the
rocket in the inducement space. This technique is quite effective for groundwater cut-off.

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For this project, one row of SGR grouting columns placed at 80cm intervals along the back of
the retaining structure was applied, achieving more than 20cm of overlapping. Other earth
retaining methods such as SCW and diaphragm walls were not considered because of the
limited workspace available on the ground surface.

(c) Lesson Learned


The excavation was fulfilled in an urban area where with adjacent buildings without having to
temporarily close down the street above the tunnel. These surrounding conditions made it
difficult to choose an auxiliary technique and excavation method. At this construction site,
SGR (which requires a smaller working space than any other method) could cut off the
groundwater inflow and could meet the control value of the ground movement together with
the application of soldier piles and a bracing system with a cast in-situ concrete wall. The
excavation work was successfully carried out without causing any damage to pre-existing
buildings.

Ground Strengthening Technique with Root Piling and Grouting

(a)Site Characteristics
Construction lot 512 belongs to Seouls subway line 5, and was characterized with a shallow
overburden of alluvial deposit and a high level of groundwater. The tunnel was to be a dual-
track tunnel undercrossing the Anyangchun, one of the tributaries of the Han River, which is a
good source of groundwater. The minimum thickness of the overburden was about 17m and
the groundwater table was just 3-7m below the surface. Due to the poor ground conditions
and shallow overburden, the design methodology for constructing this tunnel had to be
updated with stability as the main consideration.

The subsoil at the site mainly consists of four layers: fill material, alluvial deposit, weathered
soil and rock, and bedrock (soft to hard rock) from the surface. The alluvial deposits were
silty to sandy soil. Hydraulic conductivity of alluvium varied 610-3 to 910-5cm/sec.
This layers deformation modulus was in the range of 100 MPa. Figure 28 shows the subsoil
profile of the site.

Fig. 27: Location of the construction lot 512 Fig. 28: Subsoil profile of the site

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


The weak ground above the tunnel crown area needed to be improved and measures
addressing the groundwater inflow were also required for safe construction. The
approximately 8m thick alluvial layer in the crown area was reinforced with 25mm diameter
re-bars installed at one meter intervals along a rectangular pattern with the cement milk
grouting as demonstrated in Figure 29a. LW grouting was carried out along the edge of the

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tunnel except the inverted area. All the ground treatment activities were conducted at the
ground surface since this area was open space.

(a) Cut-off/reinforcement method with re-bars (b) Profile of reinforcement plan

Fig. 29: Ground reinforcement method above crown

Due to the grounds short stand-up time,


the upper half section of the tunnel was
excavated in three parts with a supporting
core as depicted in Figure 30. To minimize
the settlement of the shotcrete lining, an H-
shape steel beam (250 x 250mm), referred
to as the load distribution beam (LDB) in
Figure 30, was placed longitudinally at
both footing areas of the shotcrete lining.

(c) Lesson Learned


The successful completion of the tunnel
Fig. 30: Excavation method/auxiliary technique
revealed that reinforcement using vertical
reinforcing bars installed from the ground surface with the cement milk grouting allowed for
safe tunnel construction even through alluvial deposits. Also, the divided excavation in the
upper half section of the tunnel increased the unsupported stand-up time of alluvial deposits
and also made it possible to reduce crown settlement by installing LDB at the footings of the
shotcrete linings.

Excavation and Ground Reinforcement Technique for Tunnelling in Alluvial Deposit

(a) Site Characteristics


Construction lot 912 is on Seouls subway line 9, currently under construction. A bored tunnel
is scheduled to be built in the alluvial deposits spread over the area near the Banpo stream,
one of the tributaries of the Han River. The depth of the tunnel is about 18m below the surface
and the entire soil up to the springline of the tunnel consists of sandy gravel. In the design
stage, the groundwater table was assumed to be situated at about 1.5m below the surface. For
this reason, cut-off grouting was planned along the periphery of the upper half with a
thickness of about 3-5m. Located along the tunnel route are 14-storey apartment buildings and
5-storey shopping centers. In addition, several different sizes of box culverts for sewage and
cables are also embedded above the tunnel.

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Fig. 31; Location of the construction lot 912 Fig. 32: Surface condition of construction site

The sandy gravel layer, which presents many challenges in safe tunnelling, spreads along the
entire route concerned. The alluvial layer has more or less a consistent thickness and is placed
atop the banded biotite gneiss of the bedrock formation. The permeability coefficient for this
layer is 1.0x10-2 to 2.9x10-5 cm/sec. Photographs of the features of excavated surfaces in the
alluvial deposit are shown in Figures 33 and 34.

Fig. 33: Ground condition at portal and tunnel face Fig. 34: Excavated surface in alluvial deposit

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


As seen in Figure 34, ground run is quite common after the excavation unless the excavated
surface is properly protected or reinforced. Furthermore, adequate measures against the
groundwater are essential here for successful tunnel construction.

(a) Excavation method with jet grouting piles (b) Dewatering scheme
Fig. 35: Ground strengthening techniques and dewatering schema

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It was revealed from the construction of a cut-and-cover tunnel that a cut-off wall constructed
along the periphery of the excavation line was not very successful in keeping the groundwater
at its original level when the excavation was carried out. As a result, gradual lowering of the
groundwater level was unavoidable.

Ground deformation stemming from ground run or groundwater infiltration should be


prevented. In order to strengthen the weak ground around the tunnel face, horizontal jet
grouting columns and dewatering techniques are applied prior to excavation. A jet grouting
column reinforced with a steel pipe (11.4cm diameter) is installed every 60cm along the
excavation line at the crown area to form a jet grouting umbrella arch. This arch is then
supported by the sub-vertical jet columns to reduce settlement. The length of the jet column
umbrella arch is 13.4m and each set of arches overlap by 7.1m longitudinally.
Fiber reinforced pipe (FRP) grouting was also applied to help stabilize the tunnel face. The
groundwater level was continually lowered as well by applying dewatering systems from the
tunnel face. Excavation was made using the ring cut method, as shown in Figure 35.

(c) Lesson Learned


An important lesson was learned regarding excavating tunnels under a shallow, weak soil
overburden. It was possible to control displacement at the tunnel crown by applying
horizontal jet grouting as a stiffer auxiliary supporting method. FRP grouting made the tunnel
face stable, and was applied to help control displacement at the tunnel face.

Passing under Piled Foundation of the Bridge Piers

(a) Site Characteristics


Some portion of the construction lot 515, which belongs to Seouls subway line 5, was
designed to pass along and under the flyover bridge seen in Figure 36. Bridge piers were built
on a group of pre-cast concrete piles. The shortest distance between pile tip and the
excavation line of the tunnel was estimated to be about 5.25m, as illustrated in Figures 37.

Fig. 36: Location of the construction lot 515 Fig. 37: Tunnel under the pier foundation

The site investigation revealed that the pile tips were located in the alluvium and the entire
tunnel face lies also within this weathered rock formation. The degree of this rock formations
weathering varies from a completely weathered state to a moderately weathered state. Subsoil
conditions were complex as the thickness of the alluvial layer ranged from 12-15m. Tunnel
depth was around 14-17.5m while the groundwater level rested 10-15m below the surface.
The alluvium was underlain by the weathered soil layer and weathered rock layer.

89
(b) Issues and Technical Solutions
The flyover bridge plays a very important role for public transportation. Therefore, any
instability or structural damage done to the bridge resulting from the construction of the
tunnel needed to be avoided. Although pile tips were set apart at a reasonable distance from
the excavation line of the tunnel, the intermediate ground between the pile tips and the tunnel
needed to be reinforced. In addition, an excessive lateral displacement of each pile should be
restrained to protect the piers from any damage.

Thus, the ground above the tunnel was strengthened using steel pipe roofing and forepoling
prior to heading. The diameter and length of each steel pipe were 52mm and 12m,
respectively. Lateral spacing of pipes was set to 40cm and each pipe roof umbrella overlapped
6m longitudinally. To prevent the occurrence of unwanted lateral displacement of piles, the
ground surrounding the pile group was strengthened by grouting (see Figure 39). To enhance
the effects of this strengthening, the volume of grouting soil to be strengthened was enclosed
by the cut-off grouting of SGR. To reduce settlement of the ground at the crown area, a
central diaphragm wall excavation (CD-cut) was constructed, as illustrated in Figure 38.

Fig. 38: Profile of mini pipe roof Fig. 39: Curtain grouting injection

(c) Lesson Learned


The tunnelling was quite successful, resulting in only a small amount of settlement. The
maximum amount of settlement measured was just 24mm. Forepoling applied between the
steel pipe umbrella arch was effective in preventing the ground underneath from falling down.
The length of the forepoling was about 2.5 times the round length. The central diaphragm wall
excavation (CD-cut) method proved to be a practical method in this situation. It was
particularly helpful in reducing the crown settlement and preventing any invasion of the
ground at the face. During construction, the support systems were adjusted according to the
results of the FEM analysis and monitored field data. Grouting applied around the footings
may act as band element for pile group.

Passing under Buildings in Soft Ground

(a) Site Characteristics


Seouls subway line 9 passes through weak ground conditions to the south of the Han River,
as shown in Figure 40a. A 748m-long bored tunnel in construction lot 906 was designed to
pass underneath several buildings, as depicted in Figure 40b. Tall buildings such as an
apartment building and office building have two underground levels. The vertical distance
between the office building foundation pile (PHC, 400mm) heads and the tunnel crown was
about 15m. The apartment building stood on a reinforced mat foundation. To protect this 19-
storey apartment building along with its parking area, soil cement grouting was applied to
reinforce the subsurface ground. The vertical distance between the reinforced soil zone and

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tunnel crown was around 11m. The principal task in this project was to secure the stability of
the existing office tower and apartment building.

(a) Location of the construction lot 906 (b) Subsoil profile of the site

Fig. 40: Location of the construction lot 906 and subsoil profile

The subsurface geology of the site mainly consisted of four layers, namely alluvium,
weathered soil, weathered rock, and gneiss as bedrock of variable strength, joint spacing and
degree of weathering. The N-value of weathered soil is 9/30 to 50/11 and the RQD was very
low (less than 0-17%). The full face soil section consisted of weathered rock at the lower side
and weathered soil at the upper side. The ground water table sat at a depth of 3.3-7.3m
below the surface.

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


The stability of the buildings above the tunnel was the main challenge of the project in this are
a. Mindful of the stability of existing structures, the tunnel was excavated essentially using the
ring cut method. An ITC machine was employed for a quick and safe excavation. After the e
xcavation, first layer of shotcrete was spread, followed by a steel support (H-pile 125mm).

After completing the steel support, a second


layer of shotcrete was then added. Once the
shotcrete was installation, the tunnel face
was reinforced using glass reinforced plastic
pipe (GRP) 22mm in diameter and 12m in
length. Before excavation of the upper half,
the tunnel crown and walls were reinforced
using the multi step pipe grouting technique.
This technique uses steel pipes with a
diameter of 114mm, a thickness of 8mm and Fig. 41: Auxiliary measures for safe tunnelling
a length of 15m were installed at transverse intervals of 50cm along the entire outer periphery
of the upper half (a total of 37 pipes).

To support this jet grouting arch, a single row of subvertical steel pipes (73mm in diameter;
4m in length) were installed with cement grouting at both ends of the arch. Before
commencement of the excavation on the lower half, three rows of GRP (22mm in diameter,
6m in length) inclined toward the lead direction were installed every four meters, while 4m-
long rock bolts were installed perpendicular to the excavated surface. In addition, the invert

91
area was also strengthened with cement grouting to prevent heaving or weakening of the
ground.

ITC machine excavation 1st layer shotcrete steel rib installation 2nd layer shotcrete

face grouting completion of excavation 3rd layer shotcrete pipe installation

side wall drilling side wall pipe installation steel rib connection final shotcrete

Fig. 42: Construction Sequences

In the longitudinal direction the steel pipe umbrella arch installed in the upper half of tunnel o
verlapped by 11m longitudinally. Auxiliary measures adopted for safety are all illustrated in F
igure 41. After the full face excavation, 600mm thick concrete linings were installed. The exc
avation steps and supporting methods used during construction of the tunnel are shown in Fig
ure 42.

Feedback analysis was made using the settlement records obtained from the in-situ
inclinometer installed horizontally at the tunnel face. From the results of this analysis, GRP
grouting was recommended to reinforce the ground at the tunnel face. Compared to other
grouting methods, the main advantage of GRP is that the grouted area and pipe can be cut
easily without any loosening of the ground. By applying this additional support measure,
crown settlement was controlled within an acceptable limit along with the safe advancement
of the tunnel.

(c) Lesson Learned


The rock mass at the tunnel face was a heavily weathered rock. Moreover, the rock cover
above the excavation line in the crown area was mostly less than 2m thick. Weathered soil
appeared immediate beyond this weathered rock cover with a high hydrostatic pressure level.
These geological and geometrical arrangements were enough to present significant challenges.
Consequently, for the construction to be a success, every step of the construction process
required a great deal of extra attention and added alertness. Crown settlement as a result of the
arching effect of the tunnel face induced by steel pipe grouting and careful excavation was
measured by a horizontal in-situ inclinometer system. Immediate settlement was unable to be

92
measured by the delayed instrumentation system, but turned out to be about 52.2% of the
actual settlement of the tunnel

Cutting of Foundation Piles and Bridge Protection in the Gravely Ground

(a) Site Characteristics


Part of construction lot 912 crosses the estuary of the Banpo stream, one of the tributaries of
the Han River. Several piers belonging to three flyover bridges are founded on the riverbed
with pile foundations.

Fig. 43: Location of the construction lot 912 Fig. 44: Tunnel under the pile foundation

The water level is greatly influenced by that of the Han River, since this location is the area w
here the Banpo stream joins the river, as shown in Figure 43.

The vertical alignment of the tunnel in this area was designed to hit the piles of the pier
foundations. Sixty-seven foundation piles needed to be cut during the tunnel construction, as
illustrated in Figures 44, 45 and 49. Foundation piles are expected to lay their entire shank
within gravel-like soil. This alluvial deposit, as illustrated in Figure 46, rests unconformably
atop of the Precambrian age gneiss bedrock. Its typical gradation curve is shown in Figure 47.
The average value of hydraulic conductivity in the alluvial layer was approximately 8cm/sec.

Fig. 45: Cross section of the tunnel under the piers Fig. 46: Ground composition

93
(b) Issues and Technical Solutions
Two particularly demanding issues from
a technical perspective were presented
at the design stage. One is the safety of
tunnel construction in gravel-like
ground conditions with a large source of
groundwater supply; the other is the
protection of the flyover bridges from
the possible settlement of the piers. The
challenge becomes even greater when
the pile tips are exposed and cut in the
soft ground conditions when the tunnel
is excavated. Fig. 47: Gradation curve for alluvium

Intensive subsoil investigations were conducted to determine the exact subsoil conditions and
status of pile foundations. After comprehensive analyses and discussion, the foundation
system was changed from the pile foundations to footings by applying intensive jet grouting
in the foundation area, which applied grouting along the full depth of the piles to be cut and a
substantial aerial extent prior to tunnel excavation. This intensive grouting could prevent a
large amount of groundwater infiltration. In addition, conservative schema for excavation and
supports were also followed in order to eliminate any possible source of instability concerning
the tunnel and flyover bridges. Figure 48 shows the sequence of construction. Comprehensive
instrumentation and monitoring systems were activated to check the impact of the tunnel
construction on existing structures. Emergency measures were also established during the
construction.
G
steel pile tip size steel pile steel support elastic pad
exposure confirmation cutting installation installation

Fig. 48: Pile cutting and support installation procedure

(c) Lesson Learned


Jet grouting turned out to be quite successful. Neither significant ground settlement nor
groundwater infiltration was observed. The monitored amount of settlement was negligible
while the steel pile tips were being cut.

94
Fig. 49: Steel pile visible at tunnel face during excavation

Construction of Station Tunnel under the Old Shopping Mall and the Subway in Weak
Ground

(a) Site Characteristics


Station 923 is located under the Gangnam underground shopping mall (GSM) and Seouls
subway line 3, which opened in April, 1979 and October, 1985, respectively. The dimensions
of the 27-year-old GSM are 26m (width) x 4.2m (height) x 620m (length). Both underground
structures were built using the cut-and-cover method. GSM lies under the street adjacent to
the open space of the express bus terminal and Seoul subway line 7 also passes near this site,
as shown in Figure 50. Thus this area is one of the major human traffic areas in the Gangnam
District. A cross section of Station 923 and the existing underground structures are illustrated
in Figure 51.

Fig. 50: Location of the construction lot 913 Fig. 51. Cross section and subsoil profile

The subsurface geology of the construction site is composed of three primary features: 1) fill
material; 2) alluvium; 3) weathered rock formation of gneiss from the ground surface. The
alluvial layer persists up to a depth of about 18m, where the crown of the station tunnel
is located (see Fig. 51). The shortest distance between the existing subway and the new
station tunnel is about one meter. Ground condition visible in the steel pipe face placed along
the excavation line at the crown area is shown in Fig. 52.

95
The fill material at the ground surface is generally composed of compact-to-dense sand and
gravel, while alluvium consists of beds of silt, sand and gravel. The size of the gravel in the
alluvium varies from 5-20cm and the gravel volume ratio ranges from 30-50%. The
weathering zone of the bedrock (gneiss) has a relatively narrow band, which ranges in
thickness to about one meter on top of the gneiss bedrock formation, while the bedrock has
variable strength and fracture/joint spacing and an RMR value of 31-67 (RQD: 50~100%).
The groundwater table exists about 9.5m below the surface. Hydraulic conductivity of the
alluvium is 1.34x10-5 to 1.22x10-3cm/sec.

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions.


Since the new station tunnel was constructed underneath the existing GSM and some portion
of Seoul subway line 3, the stability of those existing structures was top priority. To protect
these structures from any possible damage, the Cellular Arch Method (CAM) was used. CAM
consists of 13 steel pipes installed along the periphery of the tunnel at the crown area, as
shown in Figure 53. The pipes are 2m in diameter, 2cm in thickness, and 159m in length.

Fig.52: Ground condition at the


face of steel pipe (2m diameter)

Fig. 53: Steel pipes and launching gallery Fig. 54: Cross section of station 923 tunnel

The pipe installation gallery was first constructed at one end of the station tunnel, and then
pipe was jacked from one end to the other, one by one, by connecting 3m-long pieces of pipe.
After completing the pipe installation, support beams were installed every five meters
longitudinally. Pipes and support beams were all filled with reinforcement and concrete. Once
the cellular arch was completed, sidewall galleries were excavated for the construction of a
concrete wall to support the cellular arch. After this series of procedures was completed, as
shown in Figure 55, the central part was excavated. A detailed account of the construction
process is presented in Figure 55 and the final 3-D view and cross section view of the station
tunnel are shown in Figure 54.

96
Fig. 55: Process of the Cellular

Arch Method(Seoul Subway-


A World Class System, 2005)
For the pipe jacking to form
the cellular arch, a rectangular
launching gallery (see Figure
56) was constructed. Since a
cut-and-cover excavation
could not be made due to the
underground structures, this
gallery was also constructed
using the pipe jacking method
in a transverse direction of the
station tunnel. Fig. 56: Construction of launching gallery

(c) Lesson Learned


Many constraints related to the urban nature of this site had to be dealt with during the design
and construction phases, as the tunnel was to pass underneath the existing underground
structures. The challenges faced in the construction of Station 923 included very unfavorable
geological and topographical conditions, and excavation under a shopping center, subway and
water mains. There was a low overburden, porous soil, and a very shallow subway tunnel
below the running line.

Safe construction was achieved by using the pipe jacking method and CAM. This method
helped control any ground deformation for this challenging tunnel section but did impose a
number of intensive labor demands.

Tunnelling under the Underpass using the Underpinning Method

(a) Site Characteristics


This tunnel is located in the vicinity of the Gimpo domestic airport and is a part of the cut-
and-cover section of construction lot 902, which belongs to Seoul subway line 9 (see Figure
57). The subway route crosses two underpass structures that cannot be closed because of their

97
importance. The length of the tunnel passing under the underpass is 45m and the distance
between these two structures is about 12-13m, as shown in Figure 58.

Fig. 57: Location of the construction lot 902 and general view of construction site

Subsoil at the construction site is


composed of dense, silty sand near the
surface, underlain by a substantially thick
layer of weathered soil. Most of the
subway route passes through the
weathered rock. The permeability
coefficient is 1.5~3.210-4 cm/sec,
except for the alluvial deposits. The
groundwater table sits at a depth of 11 Fig. 58: Subsoil profile
meters. The underpinning method was
selected after various alternatives were considered. The construction period was also
considered as an important parameter during the selection process. Ground conditions above
and at the excavation depth are so highly unfavorable that a support system was necessary to
carry the overburden load. Figure 58 shows a profile of the subsoil conditions.

Fig. 59: View of the underpinning

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


Any damage to the underpass should be avoided during and after tunnel construction. For this
reason, the total load of the underpass structure and the soil beneath it was supported using
steel beams. Moreover, lateral movements of the soil, which would eventually lead to
settlement of the underpass when the movement takes place, should be tightly controlled by
tie bars, as shown in Figure 60. Before the transverse excavation was made, soil adjacent to
the underpass was strengthened by SRC (Slime Reused Column) grouting (1m diameter; CTC
= 800mm, 2 rows). The tunnel area was excavated using a sequential excavation method with

98
a downward extension of the support beams as the excavation progressed. Figure 60
illustrates the construction process.

(c) Lesson Learned


This underpinning method has proven that it can still be applicable, even if it is one of the
more traditional methods for undercrossing construction. However, the construction process
involved is so complicated and the workspace was rather limited due to the necessarily heavy
support systems. These obviously invite a certain amount of undesired quality assurance.

SRC grouting (plan) installation of tie-rod(section A-A)

steel pipe jacking sequential excavation

construction of tunnel structure backfilling

Fig. 60: Tunnel excavation method and process

Underwater Tunnelling with Pre-grouting


(a) Site Characteristics
Construction lot 518, which crosses the Han River bed and has a shallow overburden, was one
of the most challenging tunnel construction lots in the Seoul subway network. The tunnel was
a parallel set of single tubes (A= 48.2 m2) set at a distance of 30m from center to center, as
shown in Figure 62. As seen in Figure 61, this tunnel links the west area (Gimpo Airport) and
the east area (Godeok-dong and Geoyeo-dong) to the city center. This was the first tunnel
constructed under the Han River with a total of 1.58km lying under the water. The excavation

99
was conducted using the conventional drill and blast method and a cross section can be seen
in Figure 63.

Fig. 61: Location of the construction lot 518 Fig. 62: Subsoil profile of the site

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


Underwater tunnelling using the conventional
drill and blast technique is quite challenging
not only because of unfavorable or weak
ground conditions, but also the nature of the
water source above the tunnel. In the event
of a tunnel collapse, this water would rush
through the tunnel and result in a large
number of lives lost as well as significant
economic loss.

F o r t h i s r e a s o n , a relatively conservative
construction scheme is generally preferred to
cover the uncertainties of the surrounding
ground. To avoid the difficulties due to severe
groundwater infiltration into the tunnel during Fig. 63: Tunnel profile and temporary drains
the excavation, pre-grouting was performed as
schematically depicted in Figure 64. Liquid waterglass (LW) was used in the grouting. The
entire section of tunnel beyond the excavation line in the weathered rock (25m injection
length; 5m bulk head; injection pressure: 1.2-1.8 MPa) was grouted. In addition to grouting,
mini pipe roof grouting at the crown area was also implemented to help prevent the ground
from caving-in during excavation (50mm outside diameter; 15m length; 5-8m reiteration
length). Reinforced concrete lining with a thickness of 500mm was placed to act against the
high external water pressure. Temporary drainage pipes were installed along the tunnels
inverted area to drain water from the tunnel during the construction stage. For emergency
purposes, flood control gates were also installed at both ends of the underwater tunnel section.

100
Fig. 64: Schematic description of the pre-grouting for water cutting-off

(c) Lessons Learned


The tunnel excavation under high water pressure was performed safely by adopting LW
grouting for groundwater cut-off placed along the entire periphery of the tunnel and mini pipe
grouting for ground reinforcement at the crown area. However the waterproofing system of
the tunnel was unsatisfactory because of some damage of membrane incurred by various
reasons during the construction.

Single Arched Station Tunnel with a Shallow Overburden

(a) Site Characteristics


The large underground section of
Noksapyoung Station, as depicted in
Figure 66, was constructed as part of
Seouls subway line 6 (construction lot
606). The heavy volume of daily traffic
and a large number of commuters did not
allow the cut-and-cover method to be used
for this large station tunnel. A drill and
blast technique with a divided excavation
was eventually applied.

The shape of this station was the first of its


kind to be built in Korea. The total length
of the station tunnel is 167.5m. The Fig. 65: Location of the construction lot 606
overburden depth was around 17-24m, as shown in Figure 67.

The rock mass in the station area was composed of slightly weathered gneiss slanting to the
southeast. The rock mass was also cut by a small-scale fault and crushed zone. However,
almost all of the Noksapyoung Station was to be constructed in a rock mass of fair-to-good
conditions.

101
Fig. 66: Sections of Noksapyoung station

Fig. 67: Subsoil conditions and cross sections of tunnel

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


Ensuring stability during the excavation was perhaps the most important technical issue for
such a large section of tunnel being built in an urban area. A sequential excavation method (4-
benches, 3-divisions per bench) as shown in Figure 68 was employed to help cope with the
less than favorable conditions and high strength concrete was used for the tunnel lining to
enhance structural soundness. Excavated surfaces were reinforced using shotcrete (200-
250mm thickness) and rock bolts (5-6m in length).

(a) Cross-section of station tunnel (b) Profile (c) Plan

Fig. 68: Tunnel construction procedures

102
To verify the stability during
the excavation process, a
numerical analysis was done
using the 3-D Finite Element
Method (FEM). The FEM
model of the stations
structure with a vertical
ventilation shaft (analyzed
area was 84m below surface;
140m in length along the z- Fig. 69. Finite Element Model
axis; 124m in a cross section
along the y-axis), as shown in Figure 69, and the analysis simulated the excavation process
(see Figure 70). Ground displacement and support pressure were checked at each step of the
excavation.

1st step 2nd step 3rd step 4th step

Fig. 70: Process of FEM analysis

It was estimated through the FEM analysis that the maximum stress developed in the
shotcrete lining was about 1.36 MPa at the final stage of excavation, well below the allowable
limit (8.4 MPa). The maximum total displacement was
about 10mm.

(c) Lesson Learned


The sequential excavation method proved to be successful
in the safe construction of a shallow cover single-arch
tunnel. After the station was successfully completed, the
design methodology regarding a single-arch tunnel for a Fig 71 : Site view of single
large section was updated. arched tunnel

Two-arch and Three-arch Station Tunnels

(a) Site Characteristics


Myeongdong Station is situated next to Hoehyeon Station, and both belong to Seouls subway
line 4 (construction lots 415 and 416, as shown in Figure 72).

103
These stations were built underneath existing
structures including the Chungmu underground
shopping center and the Daehanjeonsun building.
Myeongdong Station is a 167.5m-long two-arch
tunnel, while Hoehyeon station is 128.8 meters
long and is a three-arch tunnel, as shown in Figure
73. The vertical distances between structures
(building) and the tunnel crown is about 3.5-5.5m
through weathered rock. Myeongdong Station was
constructed in a fair-to-good quality rock mass.
The upper part of the tunnel was situated in soft
rock while the lower part was in hard rock. Fig. 72: Location of the construction lot
Hoehyeon Station was constructed in soft rock 415 and 416
with weathered soil above the rock. The weathered
soil layer was approximately 7m thick.

(a) Myeongdong subway station

(b) Hoehyeon subway station

Fig. 73: Location and cross sections of two-arch subway station and three-arch subway station

(b) Issues and Technical Solutions


Stability and safety were the most important and technically demanding issues in constructing
such a large section tunnel, especially in an urban area. These tunnels were

104
constructed using a sequential excavation method,
as detailed in Figures 75 and 77.

With the two-arch tunnel construction method, the


middle part of the tunnel was excavated first and
concrete columns were constructed before the
excavation of the side areas. For the three-arch
tunnel excavation, the side parts of the tunnel were
excavated first, followed by the construction of
concrete columns and lining and, later, the middle
Fig. 74: Myeongdong subway station
part of the tunnel.
on service

Fig. 75: Construction sequence for two-arch tunnel (Myeongdong station, subway line 4)

Both methods utilize reinforced concrete supports in the excavated areas prior to moving on
to the next step in the sequence of excavation. Excavation of Myeongdong Station was
accomplished from both sides of the tunnel, the starting and ending points. To help with
ground stability at the crown area of the tunnel, the excavation was performed using
forepoling (= 32mm; 2m in length).

105
Fig. 76: Hoehyeon subway station on service

Fig. 77: Construction sequence for three-arch tunnel (Hoehyeon station, subway line 4)

Hoehyeon Station was the first three-arch subway station built in Korea. It was completed in
1985 with an excavated width of 21.4m and a height of about 7.55m. The station is located
under the Toegyero, sharing a boundary with Namdaemun market, as seen in Figure 76
For safety reasons, the Hoehyeon station tunnel was excavated with a bench length restricted
to 15m for an early ring closure during construction. However, this bench length was not
enough for the equipment to operate easily and it was hard to maneuver trucks and boring
machines during the construction work.

106
On the basis of numerical analysis and measured results,
the bench length was increased to 30m for those areas
where there was no existing structure above the surface.
The original bench length of 15m was maintained for
those areas that passed directly under an existing
structure. During the construction of these tunnels, a
problem with water leakage occurred due to a damaged
waterproofing membrane. To address this leakage
problem, drainage pipes with a diameter of 150mm were
installed longitudinally along the tunnel (see Figure 78).
To reduce the number of connection joints in the
waterproofing membrane, the membrane was cut as few Fig. 78: Measure for water leakage
times as possible. In order to verify the stability of the
structure during the excavation, an FEM numerical analysis was conducted. To consider the
influence of being in such close proximity to buildings in the case of Hoehyeon Station, a 2-
dimensional Finite Element Model was used, as shown in Figure 79. The analysis showed that
both the maximum settlement and the maximum inclination appear at the building corner
close to the tunnel. However, these values fell within the allowable limits for settlement. No
serious problems related to deformation occurred during the tunnel construction and the actual
displacement and support pressure monitored also verified this.

(a) Soil-structure model (b) Analysis result of excavation sequence

Fig. 79: Finite Element Mesh and simulation of excavation process

(c) Lesson Learned


An important lesson was learned during the excavation of these large section station tunnels
through the adoption of a sequential excavation methodology. The drill and blast technique
was selected as an appropriate construction method. Forepoling and LW grouting were used
to secure the stability of existing structures. To solve the leakage problem, drainage pipes
were installed while the waterproofing membrane was protected from potential damage that
might occur during the welding of membrane and fabrication of the reinforcement. After the
successful completion of these tunnel stations, the design methodology behind similar two-
and three-arch tunnels was updated and applied to other sites along Seouls subway lines.
Some other cases involving such large cross-sectional areas of a station tunnel can be seen in
Figures 80 and 81.

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Euljiro station (Line No. 5) 920 Station (Line No. 9) Yeouido station (Line No. 5)

Fig. 80: Two-arch tunnel construction at other sites

Daejeon station

Fig. 81: Three-arch tunnel construction at other site

CONCLUDING REMARKS
Some measures frequently employed for the soft ground tunnelling in urban area are
addressed in this paper. Those are the matters related to the measures against groundwater and
the strengthening of ground for safe tunnelling without causing any possible tunnel collapse
and damages on existing structure and facilities. Several successful case histories which are
mostly technically demanding tasks are presented in a systematic manner.
It can be concluded from this comprehensive review on the soft ground tunnelling that either
the stable tunnelling or tunnel collapse is possible in the very similar geological conditions.
Thus, human factors play significant role for the safe tunnelling. Consequently, the unique
tunnelling technique may not be executed even if it exists.

ACKNOWLEGEMENT
This paper is a slightly modified version of the authors lecture which was made at the
Training Course of 2006 World Tunnel Congress in Seoul.

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