Mission accomplished in Livorno

Microtunnel dug in just 32 days

by Port News Editorial Staff

Mission accomplished. In 32 days. It took that long to dig the 234 meters separating the two banks of the harbour access channel. The mechanical ‘mole’ has done its job, drilling the perimeter wall of the recovery well on the Calata del Magnale between Saturday and Sunday.

The massive vehicle, which bored underground at a depth of 23 meters from the coastline starting from the Marzocco tower where the drive  shaft is located, – will be removed over  the next few days.

In the meantime, the recovery  shaft has been hydraulically balanced i.e.  previously flooded to avoid dangerous infiltrations of water and sand when the Tunnel Boring Machine passes through. It will take a few more days before the excavation area will be accessible again, just enough time to carry out some sealing operations  and plug any water leaks.

Considering the time needed to remove all the equipment and piping used for the operation from the work site and the time that the Port Authority will take to check the tunnel is safe, it will take another two and a half months before the process is completed.

At that point, the underground tunnel can be handed over to Eni. Eni will start to install the new pipes that will link up  the Stagno Refinery with the Darsena Petroli oil terminal, and remove the old ones. The old pipes  are annoyingly located deep down along the banks of the only way in and out of the Darsena Toscana and create havoc for large ships during maneuvers,

Eliminating this obstacle will allow large container ships to enter and leave the port without too many problems. In short, for Livorno it means being able to be  ready for the Darsena Europa, the seaward expansion project  with which the Port Authority intends to meet  new traffic development targets.

Translation by Giles Foster

Go to Top