Ceneri Base Tunnel: last blast at Vigana

A further important phase in construction of the Ceneri Base Tunnel has come to an end. Today, Wednesday, December 21, 2011, at 2:50 pm, the last blast in the north drive at Viga-na took place. Six hundred-and-seventy metres of the 15.4-kilometres-long Ceneri Base Tun-nel have been excavated by blasting from Vigana. Lining of the tunnel will start at the beginning of 2012.

"Although excavation work from the north portal at Vigana and the south portal at Vezia is now complete, work on realisation of the Ceneri Base Tunnel continues at full speed. To date, around 40 % of the 39.8-kilometres-long tunnel system have been excavated", explained Walter Bernardi, Chief Construction Officer for the Ceneri Base Tunnel at AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., after the last blast.
Work on the north portal at Vigana began in July 2009. In the last 2½ years, many challenges have been successfully mastered, such as the tricky crossing under the A2 motorway. At the beginning of 2012, fitting-out work inside the tunnel will start, including concreting the inner lining.
As from the new year, excavation of the Ceneri Base Tunnel will continue only from the intermediate heading at Sigirino. Driving work is expected to be completed in 2016, after which the railway systems will be installed. The Ceneri Base Tunnel is scheduled to open for commercial operation in December 2019.