Bored tunnels and shafts

Photo: COWI
The recent rapid development of tunnel boring machine (TBM) technology has opened up many new exciting bored tunnel possibilities for road, rail and utility systems.

COWI provides the full range of multidisciplinary design services for temporary work shafts as well as permanent access shafts, emergency shafts and ventilation shafts as an integral part of underground infrastructure systems.

Bored tunnels

The advances in TBM design has resulted in the ability to construct bored tunnels in congested urban locations, under deep waterways and at increasing depths. Tunnels can be constructed in both hard rock and soft ground conditions, large and small diameter to meet the requirements for a wide range of applications.

Bored tunnel services
  • Technical and economical feasibility of bored tunnels, impact assessment, construction methods and applicable TBM selection
  • Design of segmental linings for watertightness, durability and fire resistance and design of tunnel alignment
  • Review of TBM design and manufacture, TBM specifications, review of TBM operating procedures and TBM supervision
  • Analysis, prediction and mitigation of ground movement and settlement from tunnelling 
  • Tunnel construction programming, site supervision  and tunnelling risk assessments.


With our specialists within the fields of structural and geotechnical design, materials, hydrogeological and environmental engineering, landscape architecture and town and traffic planning, COWI provides an integrated, multidisciplinary design of temporary and permanent shafts. We apply advanced models with market-leading software to maximise the reliability of our design.

Worldwide experience

The bored tunnel and shafts services COWI provide have developed from experience built up from an impressive list of significant projects in Scandinavia and worldwide as designer, reviewer, consultant or providing project management for both contractors and project owners.

LAST UPDATED: 31.01.2017