The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Thursday, 04 April 2019 01:00

Severe subsidence caused by underground motorway in Sydney

Earth subsiding along the WestConnex Earth subsiding along the WestConnex

Satellite imagery revealed that the $17 billion WestConnect underground project has caused severe subsidence of the ground above.

Satellite data is a beneficial tool that can determine the impact of infrastructure projects but it has not been widely used in Australia until recently.

According to Otus Intelligence Group, a firm that provides satellite data to determine ground's displacements, the 33-km WestConnex tunnels have caused soil's settlements at a radius of 300m from the construction sites. "The first thing that we picked up was that there was a lot of movement and it was in alignment with the tunnels which is why we decided to share the information. This technology has been used for tunneling projects in Europe for several years. It's been demonstrated to be extremely accurate," Marc Beaudry, founder and CEO of Otus Intelligence, stated.

The evidence suggests that numerous houses, gas tanks at Sydney Airport and IKEA's carpark are currently in danger. Otus Intelligence Group collected images for three consecutive years which included data from 25,000 buildings located above the tunnel constructions. The images show that the ground has settled by up to 10cm, a subsidence significantly higher than the regulations indicate.

A team of geotechnical engineers and architects has been established to review the causes of the settlements. The Roads and Marine Services of Australia (RMS) has received complaints from 13 residences who claim that contractors do not accept the responsibility. "I want to be very clear – if the contractor has caused the damage, they will pay to fix it," Stuart Ayres, the Minister for WestConnex, stated.


Read 160 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 April 2019 15:29

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