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Tunnels and Geotechnical

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff's tunneling and geotechnical experience includes the largest mined caverns constructed in the U.S. as well as New York’s first, and latest, underground transit tunnels. Our tunnels are used for highways, rail and transit, water conveyance, combined sewer overflow, utilities, underground storage and scientific research.


Tunneling and underground technology occupy a prominent role in our portfolio of skills.  We’ve pushed the limits of tunnel technology with landmark projects that shaped the course of tunnel engineering and defined industry practice.  

We have hands-on experience with all types of tunnels—rock, soft ground, cut-and-cover, immersed tunnel, micro, jacked, and Austrian Tunneling/Sequential Excavation Method.  

Our accomplishments have established technical milestones in tunnel engineering and underground facility design, and our staff has developed many of the guiding tools of the trade such as the Tunnel Engineering Handbook, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Design Manual for Tunnels and Shafts in Rock, the Subway Environmental Design Handbook and, the FHWA Manual for Design and Construction of Road Tunnels.

Our designs have resulted in record-setting advances with tunnel boring machines; we have pioneered the use of innovations such as earth-pressure-balance and slurry-face tunneling techniques and fiber-reinforced concrete liners. We design systems for tunnel ventilation, lighting, drainage, power, traffic control and surveillance, communications, and fire protection and safety.  In addition to the traditional tunneling services we provide, our professional staff is a leader in the development and application of state-of-the-art designs and cutting-edge technologies in areas such as tunnel security and blast-protective design, tunnel construction engineering, tunnel inspection and rehabilitation, risk analysis and management, virtual design and construction, and sustainability and green design. Our tunneling achievements have been recognized by the industry through numerous engineering excellence awards.