Global experts delivering tunnels in some of the world’s most complex environments

Whether it is through hard rock in the mountains of Albania, or by carefully navigating around London Underground’s extensive Tube system for Crossrail in the UK, Bechtel’s team of tunneling specialists has been able to turn customers’ visionary concepts into reality.

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We have delivered some 250 miles (400 kilometers) of tunnels for infrastructure projects including city development, rail, airports and roads; water conveyance systems for cities and industrial needs; oil & gas projects; and power projects. In addition, we have delivered 24 water intake structures that transport 55,750 cubic feet (1,579 cubic meters) per second—more than 25 million gallons per minute, as well as project managed or directly procured 31 tunnel boring machines.


  • Bored tunnels in hard rock or soft ground
  • Tunnel boring machines
  • Sprayed concrete lining (SCL or NATM)
  • Segmental lining
  • Drill and blast tunnel excavation
  • Cut and cover tunnels
  • Shaft sinking in soft ground or rock
  • Tunnel refurbishment
  • Ground engineering and settlement mitigation

Crossrail, London

Bechtel is the delivery partner on Crossrail, a new east-west rail route across Greater London. This project includes 13 miles (21 kilometers) of tunnels beneath London and through existing sewer lines, water, and gas mains; foundations of buildings; and London Underground tunnels dating to the 1860s.

Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia

Bechtel is a member of the BACS consortium that is designing and constructing two of the rapid transit system’s six lines and 39 stations. Lines 1 and 2 have the longest tunneled sections on the new network and four giant tunnel boring machines will be procured by Bechtel to complete this section. The Riyadh metro will change the way citizens and visitors to Riyadh travel, connecting people throughout the city like never before.

Oak Creek Power Plant, Wisconsin

As part of the Oak Creek Power Plant Expansion, Bechtel built a 28-foot (8.5-meter) diameter, 1.7-mile (2.8-kilometer) long deep rock tunnel under Lake Michigan forming the water intake to the Oak Creek Power Generating Station on the west side of the lake. The tunnel was excavated by a tunnel boring machine under the lake.

Rio Tinto Alcan Backup Tunnel, Canada

The Bechtel team worked on an EPCM contract for the first phase of Rio Tinto Alcan’s Back-Up Tunnel project in British Columbia, completed in 2014. The hydroelectric project provides power to the Kitimat aluminum smelter, which is located in a remote mountainous environment accessible only by helicopter or boat. During winter, the work site was inaccessible due to snow and the potential for avalanches. Work included drilling and blasting 883,000 cubic feet (25,000 cubic meters) of solid granite for five separate tunnels. The project was in an area of spectacular natural beauty and work was only accomplished during stipulated periods when river flows were maintained at low levels to support salmon spawning.