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Less than 1km is required to be excavated under Sruwaddacon Bay before the Corrib tunnel reaches landfall at Glengad.

Work on the 4.9 km tunnel, which will be the longest tunnel in Ireland, began in January 2013.  Approximately 120,000 tonnes of material have been excavated since the tunnel boring machine (TBM) ‘Fionnuala’ commenced operations.

“Excellent progress has been made over recent weeks as the TBM bored through sand,” explained Paul Hughes, Shell Tunnel Construction Manager.  “Due to the good soil conditions the 4km mark milestone was passed on the 23 March”.

As the tunnel nears Glengad, excavation work will slow down as the TBM will be boring through rock. Regular inspections of the cutter head at the front of the TBM will be conducted and drill bits changed as required. “When tunnelling commenced at Aughoose, the TBM encountered rock almost immediately so we now know what to expect as we approach Glengad”, said Mr Hughes   

Once the tunnel is built, the process of laying the gas pipeline inside the tunnel will get under way.

Fionnuala will be dismantled and transported back to Germany, where it will be re-conditioned and used on another tunneling project elsewhere in the world.

Less than 1km to go for Corrib Tunnel