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Tunnel Limburg

The Devonian clay shales, quartzite, tuffs and mass limes are split and staggered forming blocks as a result of extensive fault tectonics. They are superimposed by tertiary and quaternary sands and gravels as well as tertiary clays, which are sometimes located directly alongside the Devonian solid rocks as a result of tectonic action. The clay shales can be strongly decomposed or disaggregated as a result of tectonic action or weathering. The mass limes which are so important for providing the town of Limburg with water are to be found below the tunnel route and are not affected by construction work. Minor and greater water ingresses can be anticipated in the quaternary and tertiary layers. The tunnel starts in the north in the Elbboden industrial estate directly alongside the A 3, passes beneath the highway over a length of approx. 400 m and then cuts under the B 49 and the Limburg-Nord motorway hub in the direction of the Dietkircher Höhe industrial estate, where it then emerges from the upper Lahn embankment in the south and joins up with the Lahn Valley bridge. The excavated cross-section had to be split up for static reasons on account of the quality of the ground that was present. As a result the tunnel headed by mining means was mainly driven through a wall bench variant. The muck was removed by excavators with follow-up shotcrete support. The tunnel passes below the grounds of the Tetra Pak company over a length of approx. 200 m. In one of the facilities packing material is temporarily sorted with the aid of a fully automatic conveying and stacking installation. Any disturbance to the proper functioning of the storage facilities would have resulted in considerable outage costs being incurred. As a result, the differences in settlements below the storage shelf hall and beneath the connecting tunnel had to be confined to less than 15 mm. In this connection, grouting was carried out to support the ground as settlement compensation for the company's storage facilities. Through injecting determined amounts of a solid agent, the ground volume is increased in such a way that the zone located above the grouting level is raised. Within the zone where storage halls II and IV are sited, the hall supports are separated from the foundations and 4 hydraulic jacks set beneath them. The jacks are fed from computer-controlled hydraulic aggregates to sustain the building at the proper height. The inner shell comprising impermeable reinforced concrete is carried out in blocks in 10 m long segments.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Hessen
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Main-line rail
  • Client: Deutsche Bahn AG and DB Projekt GmbH Köln-Rhein/Main
  • Consulting Engineer: WBI, Dr.-lng. B. Pierau
  • Contractor: Hochtief AG, Bilfinger + Berger Bau AG
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Excavator
  • No. of tubes: 1
  • Tunnel total length: 2395 m
  • Diameter: approx. 14,0 m
  • Contract Volume: approx 160 mill. DM
  • Construction start/end: 1997 to 2001
  • Opening: May 2002