The purpose of this essay is to find out what the needs for civil engineering project are and what input which a civil engineer would have into a project. Also the essay has asked to find a suitable project which has a significant size and have sufficient complexity to require civil engineering input throughout the design and construction.
The chosen project is Strait of Gibraltar crossing which is a tunnel or bridge project that would connect Spain to Morocco. The project has been proposed to Spain and Moroccan government to investigate the possibly of the project. The Strait of Gibraltar crossing could be one of biggest civil engineering project which linking the two continents and bring people closer to one another. The Strait of Gibraltar crossing tunnelling project is more suitable than bridge project because of deepness of the sea level. Bridge project is not suitable is deep sea area. The tunnelling idea came from “The Channel Tunnel” project which was discussed in lecture and similar idea could possible to use for the Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project. But the area under the Strait is less stable than that under the English Channel due to an active major geologic concern and some severe earthquakes have occurred in that area. This has caused civil engineering to face problems because of the two very deep Quaternary clay channels in the middle of the Strait sea and that makes the construction becomes complex.
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The project was estimated 24 miles the length and 980 ft below sea level which is deeper than “The Channel tunnel” which makes it difficult for civil engineer to tackle the issue but with today technology anything can be solved. The tunnelling project could take least 20 years to complete because of the deepness of the sea and the problem which engineers facing. The project is underwater railway tunnel and also two railway terminals were proposed with this project as well. The tunnel is only used by electrical train. It was estimated that train can carry 9 million passengers from both countries through underwater tunnel. Also the tunnel can be use Freight vehicle shuttle to carry cars or buses, shipment and other product from Europe to Africa which would be benefit for both country and international countries. This tunnelling project will boost the economy and tourist attraction for both countries.
The advantage of the tunnel would be that it will allow shipping to pass easily. Although low bridge would be need to be an opening or swing bridge to allow shipping to pass otherwise it can cause traffic congestion. Bridges can be close for road and rail network due to the harsh weather such as high winds and therefore engineer prefer bridges than tunnel. Apart from tunnelling construction , civil engineering need to design a railway terminal for Spain and morocco and build highways and railway network to connect other countries . An engineer needs to build railway terminal need to allow passengers travel through the country. The terminal should have the high security to stop emigration coming into Europe .Also they need to think about the ventilation plant to allow the air inside the underwater tunnel escape. Ventilation is big problems from engineers because of the deepness of the sea level. They also need to find solution how they are going to dig underground and how may boring machine need for the this kind of tunnel.
In every project all the civil engineer has big part of the project which every of them will be doing key roles which bring all together to complete the project successfully. For this particular underwater tunnel project, there are some roles which civil engineers have to do to complete the project.
These are five main roles which civil engineer will do in this Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project:
Surveying – This role is one of the main part of the civil engineering project process where civil engineer have to analysis the ground conditions of the Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project where they have to collect soil samples from both Spain and Morocco lands from boreholes and by other geophysical techniques. Then engineer will make a best choice for the machinery and methods for excavation and ground support. This will reduces the risk of unexpected ground conditions. They also will have to measure the distance of the underwater tunnel. The surveying process takes lot of time until it is safe to build tunnel which is challenging to civil engineer. When the ground condition examined by surveyor then they have to measure the ground deepness and find out what kind nature of rock is available on the ground. Surveying role will help civil engineer to insure two halves of the tunnel met up at the same point when the engineer using boring machine for the digging process. The advantage of surveying is that it will insure the engineer that the Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project will be safe and successful. So surveying always needed in every engineering project.
Design – designing tunnel is one of the most important and big parts of what civil engineers will do need in Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project. In this project civil engineer will have to design similar design of “The Channel tunnel” or “The Seikan Tunnel” which both of them has similar design. The design of the underwater tunnel should be two main tunnels where one line is for Spain to Morocco and other line is Morocco to Spain, a service to tunnel for emergency services and a tunnel which connects both main tunnels for air circulation. Civil engineers most design the tunnelling project very carefully , the designer has to design station location for emergency services , maximum gradients for the trains using the tunnels, minimum curve radius of the trains and the location of obstructions such as tube lines, building foundations, sewers and other tunnels. These are the mains things which designers have to design it before the construction start. Also apart from designing underwater tunnels, they will have to design the railway terminals for the passengers. The terminal design should be modern and unique and also designer should design a border immigration building to stop the immigration. The advantage of completed design is that the civil engineer will be able to start the construction of the underwater tunnel by looking at the design.
Construction – civil engineers will be more involved in the construction which is the main part of the tunnelling process. Civil engineering will dig the underwater tunnel by boring machine where they have to pass from soft clay to hard rock. They will use different method tunnel construction to dig underwater tunnel depends on the ground conditions, the ground water conditions, the length and diameter of the tunnel drive, the depth of the tunnel , the logistics of supporting the tunnel excavation, the final use and shape of the tunnel and appropriate risk management. There will be many engineers involves in underwater tunnel construction where they will follow the designer to make sure everything going as a plan and the design. In the construction there are two types of roles, those roles are planning and site supervision of the construction. Engineer will need to plan the construction where they have to sort out how long is going to take the tunnel to be completed, also as well as planning there is management of the construction which controls the timetable of the construction .Site supervision is a role which engineers will be on the site to make sure everything has done properly, they also need to deal with any problems which they face in underwater tunnel. Also engineers need to construct international highways for both countries to help passenger travel through the country and also connect the highways to other countries as well.
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Service / Maintenance – service, and maintenance is another role which civil engineering will need to think about it. Civil engineers will be involved in inspecting it and recommending maintenance throughout the life of the structure of the underwater tunnel. One thing that engineers need to think is ventilation plant for the tunnel. They need two ventilation plants to help them clear the air inside the undersea tunnel. The main job of servicing tunnel is to keep clean and secured the underwater tunnel and also on service tunnels they should have a bus or car for an emergency accident to help the passenger to travel to the surface.
Contractor – this is another role which engineers need to consider in civil engineering project. Contractor role is to looking after the construction site and managing the vendors and trades. Contractors have to estimate the cost of the project after investigating the construction site. Contractor is in charge of affording all the tunnelling materials, paying the engineers and workers , buying or renting construction’s equipment such as construction machines and tools and also necessary services for the construction of the underwater tunnel project .
Every civil engineer will do their own specific roles which they enjoy. From those main five roles, I mostly enjoy three of the roles, which are surveying, design and construction. The reason why I have chosen those three roles are that of the way these roles challenging me and the skills which improve my ability. Surveying is the practice of measuring angles and distances on the ground which requires maths skill to calculate the distance, designing a project will need a good IT skill which I have and it’s also challenging me as well and finally construction works are mainly to do with communication and management skills, these two are not my strongest skills but as I said that I like something challenge me and this encourage me to improve those weakest skills. From those three roles I can be able to perform Surveying and design role well enough. The other two roles service/ maintenance and contractor are not my specific roles which I enjoy because they are not challenging to me.
From those top three I only one of I can be able to perform strongly which is surveying role. Surveying role is more suited to the skill and enthusiasms I have got .Maths skill is one of the main skill which needed for surveying to calculate the distance among two places and solve problems and the maths skill to me is the strongest skill. I find the surveying more enjoyable and I have an enthusiasm toward it.
To sum up the essay, this has shown that every civil engineering project needs some major roles to complete the project successfully and by the time. All the roles require specific skill and commitment toward the project. Tunnelling project is the hardest project in civil engineering field because of the amount of the time that surveyor has to investigate in tunnelling project. But with today technology surveyor can investigates the project in less amount of time. The Strait of Gibraltar underwater tunnel project is always needed a surveyor to investigate the ground conditions because of the geological issue in both lands. Therefore surveying is main key of any particular project. However design and construction roles are also part of the project but both links to surveyor which decides whether to start the project.
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