A contractor is now being sought for the UK’s Stonehenge Tunnel project. The work involves building a new tunnel and new stretch of dual carriageway, moving the busy A303 route away from the Stonehenge monument.
The project is expected to cost €2 billion. The tunnelling conditions are poor as the rock has a poor strength and is faulted, while the water table is high. This tunnel will require extensive reinforcement as well as effective water protection and drainage measures, which also meet tough environmental requirements.
The tunnel stretches will be around 3.2km in length. Construction is planned to commence in 2021. The project is controversial however as some critics suggest it could cause damage to important archeological sites around Stonehenge.
The project is considered a priority for the UK’s transport network as the A303 carries heavy traffic and the current two lane section near to Stonehenge suffers heavy congestion. However previous plans to build the Stonehenge Tunnel Bypass have been halted and until work actually commences, this latest project may still face being cancelled at late notice.