The Channel Tunnel Project Management

4226 words 17 pages


The Channel Tunnel is one of Europe's biggest infrastructure projects ever. The 50.45km long tunnel has fulfilled this old dream by linking Britain and the rest of Europe. The idea of a fixed link between Britain and France was first mooted by a French engineer in 1802; it connects England and France 50m below the seabed of the English Channel. It's not just a tunnel, but a huge infrastructure containing massive machinery and control systems in an underwater tunnel system (Lemley, 1995; Kirkland, 1995). In 1990 the service tunnels broke through at the halfway point. The main rail tunnels met on May 22, 1991 and on June 28, 1991, each accompanied by a
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The Eurotunnel project can be classified as having followed the formal project management methodology.

Project Initiation:

Sir William Watkin in 1881 began exploratory work at Shakespeare Cliff near Dover. In 1883, using a Beaumont-English tunnel boring machine, pilot tunnel work began at Dover, with a tunnel 2.13 meters in diameter, and 1,893 meters long. A similar effort was started in Sangatte, France, west of Calais, with a tunnel 1,669 meters long; however, that project too was abandoned, once again defeated by influential British military and political opposition concerned with Britain's national defence. This summit initiative led to a series of technical and financial studies and to the development of tunnel and bridge schemes by different engineering groups. Finally, on April 2, 1985, the British and French governments issued a formal invitation for potential promoters to compete for the Channel fixed link (Cannon, 2002).

Project Planning and Execution

By the October 31, 1985, closing date, nine schemes had been submitted. Four were considered worthy of close scrutiny. These were: a motorway suspension bridge, a tunnel accommodating a road and a railway, a combined bridge and submerged tube system, and a tunnel to carry through- trains and shuttles for road vehicles. In January 1986, the winner was the


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