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L&T’s Mumbai coastal road project sets a world record in tunnel boring

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L&T’s Mumbai coastal road project sets a world record in tunnel boring

By excavating 456.72 m at the Mumbai coastal road project, Package 4, Larsen & Toubro’s 12.19 m dia slurry TBM (tunnel boring machine), known as “Mavala,” set a world record for monthly lengths. The TBM, currently the largest in use in the nation and deployed from Girgaon Chowpatty, broke the previous record held by a 13m single shield EPB (earth pressure balance) TBM of 455.4 m for monthly tunnelling.

SV Desai, whole-time director & senior executive VP (civil infrastructure), L&T, gushed about the accomplishment: “This is a huge achievement for the entire construction industry worldwide and truly an engineering feat to be proud of.” “Our skilled and seasoned team is how we were able to tunnel at this rate. We were able to accelerate the building process and complete this illustrious and highly complex project on schedule and to the highest standards. I would like to take this opportunity to thank both our employees, without whom this would not have been possible, and our client, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), for their support throughout the entire process.

This accomplishment for the project team is a testament to their ability to meet and conquer many obstacles. The TBM “Mavala,” which was first delivered during the height of the pandemic and was named after infantry soldiers in Shivaji’s army, was put together by the team themselves with only some “virtual” assistance. The TBM, weighing about 2,500 tonnes, was then lowered into the launching shaft in its finished state. Another cutting-edge technique they used was to “rotate” the TBM inside the shaft to begin the construction of the second tunnel. This method allowed them to avoid having to disassemble, lift, transport, reassemble, and lower the TBM at a new location, which would have taken months.

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